Big Data

Deep" Integration Of 19th Century Grain Markets: Coordination And Standardisation In A Global Value Chain

Date Added: Jul 2010
Format: PDF

This paper explores the dynamics underlying integration of the international grain markets of the nineteenth century. It demonstrates that 'Deep' integration implied changes to market structures, firm strategies and the commodity being marketed. Coordination within grain markets occurred at multiple levels (markets, firms, committees, etc.) and involved various firm strategies (integration, co-specialisation, voluntary consensus, etc.). There was a greater degree of standardisation as centralised grading systems were developed by commodity exchanges in the US and UK. Greater standardization made the commodity fungible and tradable through an institutional rather than a technical process.