CfP BH: Business & Finance in Latin America

Call for Papers-Special Issue, Business History “Business and Finance in Latin America: From the Oil Shock to the Debt Crisis”

Call for Papers-Special Issue, Business History “Business and Finance in Latin America: From the Oil Shock to the Debt Crisis”

Since the 2008-9 financial crisis, Latin America has experienced a period of sluggish economic activity and increasing levels of external debt. In a world of low interest rates, the liquidity injected into the US and European banking systems flew over into Latin American economies as global demand dropped and commodities prices crashed downwards. The boom of private and public indebtedness over the past decade has increased the economic and financial vulnerabilities of a region that has historically been dependent on international trade and exposed to external shocks such as the current pandemic. In a context where governments have stepped in to offset the impact of the coronavirus crisis, debt levels are now approaching the peak seen during the international debt crisis of the 1980s, raising fears amongst policymakers and business leaders of new defaults and another “lost decade”.

The Special Issue “Business and Finance in Latin America: From the Oil Shock to the Debt Crisis” aims to bring new insights into the current debates by looking at how local and foreign entrepreneurs, financiers and state actors reacted to, and dealt with, the unstable economic and political context that preceded and followed the outbreak of the international debt crisis of 1982.

The scholarship on the business history of Latin America has expanded markedly over the last three decades. The number of historical studies of firms and entrepreneurship in the region grew considerably and covers a large variety of topics, such as foreign investment, multinational enterprises (MNEs) diversification strategies, family-based economic groups, business connections with social and political elites, and sectors or industries, namely trade, banking, mining, transport, agricultural and manufacture. However, while the bulk of these research has concentrated on firms that dominated before 1914 and the interwar and post-World War II years, the turbulent period of the 1970s and 1980s has received much less attention. Indeed, little is known about how the multiple crises that the region experienced in these years affected the way firms and entrepreneurs ran their businesses and overcame their debt and financial difficulties. The reasons why some companies disappeared while others survived and new ones entered the Latin American market has not yet been explored.

This Special Issue will contribute to filling this gap and provide new light on how the economic, financial, and political crises affected industries and business organizations operating in the region. To that end, the guest editors Carlo Edoardo Altamura (Graduate Institute, Geneva) and Sebastian Alvarez (University of Zurich/University of Oxford) welcome contributions and interdisciplinary research from scholars who use historical methods and original or primary sources to explore:

  • The behaviour and business strategies of financial and non-financial companies in the run-up to, and the aftermath of, the 1982 financial fallout.
  • The impact of the debt crisis and the responses of MNEs and domestic firms in Latin America.
  • The way that national and international companies managed economic and political risk in the region during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • How business actors coped with foreign debt, inflation, and the uncertainties unleashed by changing government policies and crises during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • The effects of the debt crisis and economic and structural reforms on state-business and domestic-foreign capital relationships.
  • The long-term outcomes of the crisis and the reorientation of businesses in line with the neoliberal policies of Latin American politics.

Please send your proposals as an extended abstract (max 2000 words) to the guest editors (edoardo.altamura@graduateinstitute.chsebastian.alvarez@history.ox.ac.uk) specifying the research question, methodological approach, sources, and main contribution to the literature. The deadline for the submission is April 15, 2021. Selected authors will be required to submit full papers by June 2022. Submitted papers will be subject to peer review according to BH publication procedure.

BizHisCol Webinar – How was the Manila trade financed?

An alternative institutional approach to long-distance trade finance, 1668-1828

27/04/2021 17.00 UK (NB – Time rescheduled, previously 16.00 UK)

Register here

Presenter: Juan José Rivas Moreno (London School of Economics and Political Science)
Discussant: Fernando Arteaga González (University of Pennsylvania)
Chair: Manuel A. Bautista-González (Columbia University in the City of New York)

This paper seeks to explain the financial model of the Pacific silver trade that linked Spanish America and Asia through Manila during the Early Modern period, focusing specially on the era between 1668 and 1828.This research therefore seeks to understand the business and financial model of the Manila trade, its resilience in time as well as its successful monopolisation of the Pacific route (the most direct route for the exchange of silver pesos for Asian manufactures) in the context of corporate, business, and institutional history. It does so by reconstructing and analysing for the first time the universe of the financial markets in Manila, which rested on a combination of financial and risk-mitigating instruments such as sea loans, investment vehicles like legacy funds grouped under the administration of confraternities and tertiary orders, and a legal framework that combined differing jurisdictions including Canon, Civil, and consuetudinary law. It explores the interaction of all this elements in the context of a trade defined by lack of substitutes, high risks, and oligopsonic structures in order to explain the rationale behind the instruments and organisations used.It crucially uses for the first time a database of over 525 sea loans from the notarial protocols of Manila (NAP) as well as the only surviving year-on-year account books of 23 legacy funds that invested in the Manila trade (APSR). The result is an alternative business model that relied on horizontal specialisation rather than vertical integration, in which Manila played a specialised role as a risk manager and financier of the trade, which allowed it to remain competitive and to fend-off encroachment attempts from interlopers and the East India companies without adopting a corporate form. 

Second HiMOS virtual seminar

We are excited to invite you to our next HiMOS virtual seminar (https://historymos.wordpress.com/). The aim of this seminar series is to help open up the black box of “practicing” history in the context of management and organization studies. 

We are very proud to have another great lineup of speakers sharing their insights and workshopping their papers, including Eero Vaara (Saïd Oxford, keynote), Christina Lubinski (Copenhagen Business School), and Antti Sihvonen (JSBE). 

Event details: 

Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Time:   2pm-5pm (UTC+2, Finland)

1pm-4pm (UTC+1, Central European Time)

Noon-3pm (UTC+0, UK)

Please register by click here

After the registration, you will receive the Zoom link, passcode, and the full version of the working papers one week before the seminar.

Program

Keynote: 

Eero Vaara (Saïd Oxford): ”How to learn from unusual organizations?”

Working paper presentations:

Christina Lubinski (Copenhagen Business School): ”The Sound of Opportunity: Aural Temporality, Entrepreneurial Opportunity & the Evolution of Markets” (with Dan Wadhwani, University of Southern California)

Antti Sihvonen (JSBE): “Chance, Strategy and Change: The Structure of Contingency in the Evolution of the Nokia Corporation, 1986–2015” (with Jaakko Aspara, NEOMA; Juha-Antti Lamberg, JSBE; Henrikki Tikkanen, Aalto)

HiMOS is organized by the Strategy and Entrepreneurship research group of Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics (JSBE). The purpose of the seminar series is the advancement of historical research in management and organization studies. Seminars are organized twice per year. In each seminar we will have one keynote speaker with a recent history-related publication sharing their insights and experiences and 2–3 advanced working paper presentations. 

If you are interested in presenting in future seminars, contact the organizers Zeerim Cheung (zeerim.cheung@jyu.fi) and Christian Stutz (christian.stutz@jyu.fi).

We are looking forward to your participation!

BizHizCol Webinar: Textiles in business history (double feature)

13/04/2021 16.00 UK

Register here

Presenters: Muwei Chen (Beijing Foreign Studies University) and Alka Raman  (London School of Economics)
Chair: Ashton Merck (Duke University)

A Collective Approach to Pollution Treatment of small firms led by Trade Association: the Kyoto black dyeing industry in the 1970s

Muwei Chen (Beijing Foreign Studies University)

The problem of pollution is a typical example of an external diseconomy that takes an important position in the relationship between the environment and private firms. Private firms incline to prioritize economic profit over environmental protection, thus, relying on firms’ initiatives to treat pollution seems impracticable. Especially for small firms, which are financially and technically less capable.

Japan has encouraged small and medium sized firms to deal with pollution collectively since the 1970s, since SMEs had generated a large amount of pollution. However, previous studies have rarely uncovered how the collective approach had been undertaken. What kind of barriers did the small firms meet? How did they solve them? Why did the small firms choose one solution over another?

This study aims to address these gaps by exploring how small firms collectively dealt with pollution under the leadership of trade associations. This study examines the case of a local industry specializing in black dyeing in Kyoto and its surrounding areas. The group of small dyeing firms, mostly with an average of 10 employees, have successfully solved their wastewater pollution in a decade. This is largely attributable to the collective attempts initiated by the Kyoto Kurozome Industrial Cooperative Association.

This case study reflected the situation of small firms in the 1970s when social and governmental pressure on pollution treatment was increasing drastically while legislation and regulations on pollution were still in formation. The misalignment between private and public interests was affected by the change of regulation, recognition, and technological availability. As a result, the small firms were gradually grouped into the leaders of the association, the pioneers, the late movers, and the outsiders. The trade association had to uniform the different interests of the small firms in order to achieve the collective approach to pollution treatment.

On the other hand, this case study also has its specialties that may further our understanding of the possibilities and restrictions of this trade association-led collective approach. These may include the supportive Kyoto prefectural government, the interdependence of stakeholders on the supply chain due to the social division of labor, and the industrial crises emerged since 1976.

The conclusions are as follows. First, the collective attempts compensated for the risk that the relatively loose regulation environment for SMEs could lead to reduced motivation to treat pollution. Second, the association constructed a regulative and normative environment to facilitate peer supervision based on horizontal inter-firm relationship. Third, the negotiation included diverse stakeholders, nevertheless, the failure to adopt the new dyeing method was attributed to the influence from the supply chain that preferred economic profit in the short run.

From imitation to industrialisation: Evolution of cloth quality in the British cotton industry, 1740-1820

Alka Raman (London School of Economics)

The introduction of Indian printed and painted cotton textiles into Britain in the late seventeenth century led to immediate imitations of these goods by British manufacturers. Did the process of imitation of these foreign benchmark products lead to the adoption of a specific trajectory of technological growth within the British cotton industry? This paper contributes to a topic central to interpretations of British industrialisation, pathways to technological change, and eventually innovations, using qualitative empirical material analysis. It highlights material knowledge transfer in the absence of codified means of knowledge exchange and identifies imitation as a key channel for innovation and technological change. Textual evidence from contemporary entrepreneurs, merchants, manufacturers as well as observers of the British cotton industry indicates that manufacturers in the early British cotton industry were concerned about cloth quality vis-à-vis Indian cottons and that there was a shift towards improvements in cloth quality, especially for the making of the cotton warp yarn. These texts suggest the hypothesis that there was a shift towards finer cotton textiles in Britain, via attempts to make the cotton warp yarn match Indian quality. With a novel dataset of surviving British and Indian textiles of the period, the paper puts this hypothesis to test and concludes that between 1746 and 1850, there was an increase in the quality of British cottons leading to a convergence with the quality of handmade Indian cottons. Extant literature mentions learning from pre-existing products but what this learning entailed and whether imitation of benchmark products stimulated technological innovations are questions that have remained unexplored. While British industrialisation has been studied from a variety of viewpoints, the impact of pre-existing goods, whose replication by machinery effectively constitutes the shift towards industrialisation, is a perspective previously ignored. This paper shows how competitive ambition amongst British manufactures to produce goods that rivalled Indian cottons steered the trajectory of mechanical innovations in the British cotton industry. Using empirical microscopic analysis of the historical material textile sources, I demonstrate that technological change in the British cotton industry was guided by the quest to match the cloth quality of handmade Indian cottons.

Canadian Business History Association’s new YouTube channel

Past CBHA/ACHA Talks
Now Available for Viewing
on CBHA/ACHA YouTube Channel

Unmaking the Made Beaver: Money and Monopoly in the Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Fur Trade.
The Historical Anniversaries of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Province of Manitoba
The History of Coffee, Cannabis, and Alcohol: From Stigmatized to Normalized
The Price of Gold – Lessons From Previous Price Cycles

View the presentations HERE.

University of Gothenburg offers PhD studentships in Economic History

Ref PAR 2021/180

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 53 500 students and 6 500 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

With around 3 700 full-time equivalent students, 470 employees and 160 international partner universities, the main subjects of economics and law, and its four departments, the School of Business, Economics and Law offers a unique range. The School also provides unique collaborations with industry and the public sector. The School of Business, Economics and Law is EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA accredited, making it the only business school in Sweden with Triple Crown accreditation.

The Department of Economy and Society at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg announces 2-3 positions as PhD student located at unit of Economic History. The department conducts education and research within three different subject areas; Economic History, Human Geography, and Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management of Intellectual Asset. The different subjects within the department create possibilities to carry out interdisciplinary education and research.

The Unit for Economic History conducts research and education within the field which includes studies economic and social development in a long-run perspective. The studies concern current topics relating to globalisation, the environment, migration and gender from the perspective of economic history. Classical issues relating to economic growth and distribution are also studied. The unit offers doctoral education as well as single-subject courses on Bachelor´s and Master´s level which gives the possibility to complete a Bachelor´s and Master´s degree. Several of the courses are included in educational programmes at the University of Gothenburg. For further information please click here.

Job assignments

The PhD student is expected to complete a PhD education in economic history during the period of employment. The main component of this education is to write a doctoral dissertation. Other tasks, including teaching and administrative duties, might be necessary to some extent, and will then render an extension of the PhD education to an equivalent degree.

Eligibility

Entry requirements for third-cycle (doctoral) programmes require both general and specific eligibility.

The general entry requirements for third-cycle (doctoral) programmes are:

  1. academic degree at an advanced (Master’s) level, or
  2. attainment of at least 240 higher education (HE) credits for courses, of which at least 60 HE credits are awarded in the second cycle, or
  3. equivalent training either in Sweden or abroad.

In addition, admission to the third-cycle programme in economic history at the University of Gothenburg also requires:

  1. attainment of 90 higher education credits for courses in economic history at any level, or
  2. attainment of at least 30 higher education credits for courses in economic history at an advanced (second-cycle) level, or
  3. achievement of equivalent training either in Sweden or abroad.

Qualified is the person who masters English in speech and writing. Applicants not fluent in Swedish are expected to learn Swedish during the employment period.

Assessment

Applicants will be assessed based on the general and specific eligibility requirements and their estimated ability to benefit from the study programme. At the assessment, particular weight will be given to documented qualifications from courses completed and theses written. Weight will also be given to recommendations from previous teachers or other persons with an insight into the qualifications of the applicant. It is also of the utmost importance that the planned field of research is within fields for which the unit possesses competence to supervise a PhD thesis. Personal suitability is of importance for this position. The ability to co-operate well is a key quality. You should be able to work independently as well as in a team. One of the positions require the applicant to work in the research field of business history.

Employment

The position is a temporary position of four years according to the Higher Education Ordinance with an extent of 100 %. The employment is located at the unit of Economic History, the Department of Economy and Society. First day of employment is 2021-09-01 or upon agreement. 

Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for education on a doctorial level are given in SFS 1993:100.

Only those who are admitted to third-cycle (doctoral) programmes may be employed as PhD student. Departmental work such as education, research or administrative assignments may be relevant.

A new employment is valid for maximum one year. The employment extends with maximum two years at a time. The total employment time cannot extend more than four years of doctoral education on full-time.

The university applies a local agreement regarding setting of wage rates for PhD students.

Appointment procedure

The applications will be evaluated by the research committee at the Unit for Economic History. Selection will be made among eligible applicants based on the information cited in the application, using the assessment criteria described above. Selected applicants will be called to an interview. Applicants are expected to be available for an interview on site or via videolink within two weeks after the last day of application.

For further information regarding the position

Please contact:

Klas Rönnbäck, professor and responsible for PhD education in economic history, +46 31 786 45 20, klas.ronnback@gu.se.

Unions

Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:
https://www.gu.se/en/about-the-university/work-at-the-university-of-gothenburg/how-to-apply

How to apply

Please attach the following in the application:

  • Personal letter (1 page)
  • Short description (1-2 pages) of the applicant’s goal and vision for the PhD education, and the field of research that the applicant aims to work within
  • CV
  • Transcript of records of first- and second-cycle studies including courses completed and grades achieved
  • Copy of diploma/degree certificate
  • Copy of first- and second-cycle theses/degree theses (with a translation of the abstract into English for non-English theses)
  • Copy of other scientific works by the applicant that are cited in the application
  • Letters of recommendation, if applicable.

Please clearly state your social security number in the application, preferably in the CV and Cover Letter.
Also clearly state the reference number to the recruitment case. Make sure that any referees also include the reference number in their letter of recommendation.

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application at the last date of application.

Closing date: 2021-06-09

The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

BizHisCol Webinar: Freedom from the New World: The invention of beet sugar

06/04/2021 16.00 UK

Register here

Presenter: David Singerman (University of Virginia)
Chair: Manuel A. Bautista-González (Columbia University in the City of New York)

In contrast to the centuries-deep agricultural origins of sugarcane, the idea of sugar from beets and other vegetables emerged of German laboratory scientists around 1800. The economic history of sugar in the nineteenth century is generally told as a war between these two industries, culminating in the near-bankruptcy of some European states that subsidized their domestic beet producers. In this chapter, I show that the idea of beet sugar was not a scientific discovery but rather a radical invention. For Enlightenment philosophes, practical chemists, merchants, and producers, sugar was something that came from the cane. Not until the middle of the century did new forces within chemistry itself, allied to certain political and economic agendas, persuade publics that the crystals extracted from beets were not just a substitute for cane sugar but in fact the same substance.