Commodity Chains: What Can We Learn From A Business History Of The Rubber Chain? (1870-1910)
Source: Harvard Business School
The literature on the rubber boom applied a Dependencies view of rubber production in the Brazilian Amazon. Even though a sizable surplus was generated in the rubber chain, it was mostly appropriated by foreigners. This view is in tune with the Global Commodity Chain approach that argues that manufacturing/core economies absorb the bulk of surplus generated in the commodity chain. This paper challenges both frameworks and asks for a more careful examination of the business history of commodity chains: it is a first step in this direction through an analysis of the relationship between two nodes of the rubber chain.