The Exchange: The BHC Weblog

The church of Santa Maria, Carmona

 The Spanish Association of Economic History (AEHE) will hold its 10th international congreso on September 8-9, 2011, in Carmona, Spain, at the University Pablo de Olavide de Sevilla. Proposals are welcome for regular sessions and for plenary, dissertation, and poster sessions. Topics for the plenary sessions are:

The economic impact in Spain and Latin America of colonial revolution and independence; and
The economic crisis in historical perspective.

Proposals for the other sessions may concern any topic of economic history.

The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2010, with decisions announced by December 15.  Proposals should be sent via email to The meeting will have a Website at, though it is not yet active. The AEHE notice (in Spanish) is here.

A new blog, "East Asian Economic and Business History," has recently been launched.  The site so far provides news of relevant conferences and videos of paper presentations, including

Dylan Sutherland, "An Examination of the Internationalisation Strategies of China's Private Enteprises"
Tim Wright, "Chinese Business in a Globalizing World: The Impact of the 1930s Word Depression"
Peter Von Staden, "Role of Japanese Business and Government in the 1990s Economic Downturn"

A few recent and forthcoming books of interest:

Mark Casson, Entrepreneurship: Theory, Networks, History (Edward Elgar, June 2010);
Andrea Colli and Michaelangelo Vasta, eds., Forms of Enterprise in 20th Century Italy: Boundaries, Structures and Strategies (Edward Elgar, September 2010);
Sharon Ann Murphy, Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America (Johns Hopkins University Press, September 2010);
E. A. Wrigley, Energy and the English Industrial Revolution (Cambridge University Press, September 2010).

Also, in addition to Nick Bunker's Making Haste from Babylon, mentioned here earlier, more books on business in early America have appeared or will soon be published:

Mark Valeri, Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America (Princeton University Press, July 2010)
Robert Martello, Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise (Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2010).

Readers may also be interested in several other works published on similar topics in the last two years:
Rosalind Beiler, Immigrant and Entrepreneur: The Atlantic World of Caspar Wistar, 1650-1750 (Penn State University Press, August 2008);
Katherine Carté Engel, Religion and Profit: Moravians in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, January 2009); and
Stewart Davenport, Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon: Northern Christians and Market Capitalism, 1815-1860 (University of Chicago Press, May 2008).

The Ralph Gomory Prize of the Business History Conference (made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation) recognizes historical work on the effects that business enterprises have on the economic conditions in the countries in which they operate. Two prizes of $5,000 will be awarded annually, one for a book and a second for an article. The first Gomory Prize, which will consider work published in English in 2009 or 2010, will be presented at the next annual meeting of the Business History Conference, to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, March 31 to April 2, 2011. Book nominations will be accepted from publishers and article nominations from the editor of the journal in which the article appears. Four copies of a book or an electronic version of an article must accompany the nomination, which should be submitted to the Prize Coordinator, Carol Ressler Lockman, Business History Conference, PO Box 3630, 298 Buck Road, Wilmington DE 19807-0630 USA. Email:
The submission deadline is December 31, 2010.

In its "Captured" series, the Denver Post has published a selected group of color photographs of the Depression-era United States, "America in Color, from 1939 to 1943." 

Women workers, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company, Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. (from color slide; photo by Jack Delano), Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (no. 54 in Denver Post exhibit).

The 70 images presented by the Post are part of a collection taken by photographers from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information.  Held as slides by the Library of Congress, they are among the few sets of color images available showing the effects of the Depression and the beginning of the Second World War on rural and small town life in the United States.

A steel mill under construction, Columbia Steel Co., Geneva, Utah, November 1942 (from color slide, photograph by Andreas Feininger) (Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, no. LC-DIG-fsac-1a34847 DLC).

The complete collection of 1,600 color images, as well as a much larger collection (160,000 items) of black and white photographs can be found on-line as a segment of the LOC's American Memory Project, "America from the Great Depression to World War II"—black and white photos indexed here and color photos here.  Though presenting only a small fraction of the total LOC collection, the Denver Post site provides sample images collected on one Web page; on the LOC site, images are found individually though a search procedure.

Joel Mokyr's recent book, The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain, 1700-1850 (Yale University Press, 2010), has been receiving a lot of positive attention.  It has been widely reviewed in the press, most notably by Edward Glaeser for The New Republic and by Trevor Butterworth for the Wall Street Journal. From the Butterworth review:

It is impossible to do justice to the subtlety and detail of "The Enlightened Economy"; it is the product of a lifetime of research and thought, and stands as a landmark work of history; . . . its perceptive examination of the birth of economic prosperity holds many arresting insights for our fraught economic times. . . .

The book is also reviewed on the blog The Enlightened Economist (Diane Coyle) and by Deirdre McCloskey for History Today.  There is an audio interview in which Mokyr discusses the book on Vox; he also writes about the work on The Page 99 Test and has an essay based on the book in City Journal.

A symposium, "Regulation between Legal Norms and Economic Reality: Intentions, Effects, and Adaptations: The German and American Experiences," will be held at the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., on April 28-30, 2011. Conveners are Hartmut Berghoff, William J. Hausman, and Günther Schulz.  The call for papers describes the focus of the symposium:

Situated at the intersection of legal and economic history, the symposium will focus on the regulation of natural monopolies in network industries such as railways, energy, or telecommunications. On one hand, it will analyze constitutional and legal frameworks, and, on the other hand, it will investigate the development of markets and the political influence exerted by market participants. Of particular interest are the formative periods of 1870-80 and 1930-35, when major decisions were made about which regulatory path to take. The period from 1945 until the 1980s will also be examined, because it was then that the deregulation discussion took firm hold in the United States, and the American concept of regulation was replicated in Germany and the European Economic Community. Naturally, all of these historical moments lead to broader questions about regulation in its cultural-historical context, including the general principles underlying public regulatory policy in law, economics, and society-as well as existing path dependencies. Hence, the symposium will also serve as a transnational and intercultural dialogue about the different characteristics and cultural interpretations of markets and market economies as well as their roles in society.

Paper proposals are welcome from both young and established scholars from a variety of disciplines, especially economics, economic history, business history, and legal history. Proposals (two pages maximum) should include an abstract of the paper (to be 20-25 minutes as presented) and a CV in English. The proposals should be submitted via email (preferably in pdf format) by October 15, 2010, to Cathrin Kronenberg.
Please see the full call for papers for additional information.

The most recent issue of the Seattle University Law Review (vol. 33, no. 4) features papers from a symposium entitled "In Berle's Footsteps."  Held at the Seattle University School of Law on November 6-8, 2009, the event was arranged to celebrate the opening of the Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law, and Society there. In his opening remarks, Chancellor William B. Chandler III offered this assessment:

[Berle] was a very successful lawyer, a groundbreaking scholar, a diplomat, an assistant secretary of state, an ambassador, a speechwriter for the president, a policymaker, and a member of FDR’s so-called “brain trust.” . . . But more than any of these impressive credentials, he literally redefined the universe of American corporate law.

The full texts of the papers are available on-line.  The essays include:

Kenneth Lipartito and Yumiko Morii, "Rethinking the Separation of Ownership from Management in American History"
Charles R. T. O'Kelley, "Berle and the Entrepreneur"
Jessica Wang, "Neobrandeisianism and the New Deal: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., William O. Douglas, and the Problem of Corporate Finance in the 1930s"
Harwell Wells, "The Birth of Corporate Governance"

Proposals for papers and full sessions for the 2011 Business History Conference meeting, which will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, from March 31 to April 2, 2011, are due by October 1, 2010. As the call for papers explains,

our 2011 annual meeting takes "Knowledge" as its theme. Knowledge embraces, but is not confined to, the human capital generated and sustained by entrepreneurs, middle managers, and technical professionals; the tacit knowledge of clerks and factory workers; the cultural messages broadcast by advertisers and public relations professionals; the learning paths of institutions that contribute to the generation, circulation, and preservation of knowledge; the intellectual history of constructs like the "knowledge economy"; and the relationship of knowledge-generating economic institutions to government, the professions, and communications networks.

The Program Chair for 2011 is Mark R. Wilson of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; for further information, please read the full call for papers.