Routes into Networks: The Structure of English Trade in the East Indies, 1601-1833

Erikson, Emily; Bearman, Peter Shawn

Drawing on a remarkable data set compiled from ships' logs, journals, factory correspondence, ledgers, and reports that provide unusually precise information on each of the 4,572 voyages taken by English traders of the East India Company (hereafter EIC), the authors describe the EIC trade network over time, from 1601 to 1833. From structural images of voyages organized by shipping seasons, they map the (over time and space) emergence of dense, fully integrated, global trade networks: of globalization before globalization. The paper shows that the integration of the world trade system under the aegis of the EIC was the unintended by-product of systematic individual malfeasance (private trading) on the part of ship captains seeking profit from internal Eastern trade.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University
ISERP Working Papers, 04-07
Published Here
August 18, 2010