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Investing in a Wealthy Resource-Based Colonial Economy: International Business in Australia before World War i

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The article is a rare investigation into multinational activity in a wealthy resource-based colonial economy toward the end of the first wave of globalization. It challenges the conventional wisdom that multinationals had a limited presence in pre-1914 Australia, where government loans and portfolio investment from Britain into infrastructural and primary industries dominated. Our new database of nearly five hundred foreign firms, from various nations and spread across the host economy, shows a thriving and diverse international business community whose agency mattered for economic development in Australia. Colonial ties, natural resources, stable institutions, and high incomes all attracted foreign firms.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Ville, S., & Merrett, D. T. (2020). Investing in a Wealthy Resource-Based Colonial Economy: International Business in Australia before World War i. Business History Review, 94(2), 321-346. doi:10.1017/S0007680520000264

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85092459545

Start Page


  • 321

End Page


  • 346

Volume


  • 94

Issue


  • 2

Abstract


  • The article is a rare investigation into multinational activity in a wealthy resource-based colonial economy toward the end of the first wave of globalization. It challenges the conventional wisdom that multinationals had a limited presence in pre-1914 Australia, where government loans and portfolio investment from Britain into infrastructural and primary industries dominated. Our new database of nearly five hundred foreign firms, from various nations and spread across the host economy, shows a thriving and diverse international business community whose agency mattered for economic development in Australia. Colonial ties, natural resources, stable institutions, and high incomes all attracted foreign firms.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Ville, S., & Merrett, D. T. (2020). Investing in a Wealthy Resource-Based Colonial Economy: International Business in Australia before World War i. Business History Review, 94(2), 321-346. doi:10.1017/S0007680520000264

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85092459545

Start Page


  • 321

End Page


  • 346

Volume


  • 94

Issue


  • 2