The Executive Summary - 1/11 - 1/15

Ashton Merck's picture

A (more or less) weekly feature with a roundup of articles and other materials of interest to scholars of business and economic history.


For anybody whose resolution in 2021 is was to get organized, I present a history of the tabbed file folder and the vertical filing cabinet, and their role in the growth of corporate capitalism.

For the rest of us, an oral history of Bed Bath and Beyond coupons. (h/t @econobitch)


ICYMI, here is a sampling of publications in business and economic history in 2020:


Alexander, Kaylee P. “Marbriers de Paris : The Popular Market for Funerary Monuments in Nineteenth-Century Paris.” Early Popular Visual Culture, August 13, 2020, 1–22.

Barnes, Victoria, and Lucy Newton. “Women, Uniforms and Brand Identity in Barclays Bank.” Business History, September 6, 2020, 1–30.

Cook, Eli. “Rearing Children of the Market in the ‘You’ Decade: Choose Your Own Adventure Books and the Ascent of Free Choice in 1980s America.” Journal of American Studies, February 12, 2020, 1–28.

Cortes, Gustavo and Verdickt, Gertjan, Did the 1918–19 Influenza Pandemic Kill the US Life Insurance Industry? (September 24, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Haan, Sarah C., Corporate Governance and the Feminization of Capital (December 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Raianu, Mircea. “Trade, Finance, and Industry in the Development of Indian Capitalism: The Case of Tata.” Business History Review 94, no. 3 (2020): 569–92.

Quinn, William, and John D. Turner. “Bubbles in History.” Business History, November 19, 2020, 1–20.

Thomson, David K. "Jubilee Jim Fisk and the Great Civil War Score." the Boston Globe. April 22, 2020.

Wang, Zhe, Huan Yang, and Xinning Zhang. “History Matters: The Effects of Chinese Ports from 170 Years Ago on Entrepreneurship Today.” Regional Studies, December 1, 2020, 1–15. (h/t @GhassanMoazzin)



Chatelain, Marcia. Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America. Liveright, 2021.

Glotzer, Paige. How the Suburbs Were Segregated: Developers and the Business of Exclusionary Housing, 1890-1960. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.

Greenberg, Joshua R. Bank Notes and Shinplasters: The Rage for Paper Money in the Early Republic. American Business, Politics, and Society. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020.

Holdren, Nate. Injury Impoverished: Workplace Accidents, Capitalism, and Law in the Progressive Era. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Levinson, Marc. Outside the Box: How Globalization Changed from Moving Stuff to Spreading Ideas. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2020.

Link, Stefan J. Forging Global Fordism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020.

Lipartito, Kenneth, and Lisa Jacobson, eds. Capitalism’s Hidden Worlds. Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020.

Norrhem, Svante, and Erik Thomson. Subsidies, Diplomacy, and State Formation in Europe, 1494-1789: Economies of Allegiance, 2020. (free to download)


Apologies for the longer-than-anticipated hiatus and somewhat haphazard return. Many thanks to those who sent me your publications from this past year. And solidarity with those whose publication plans were delayed or derailed.

As always, send suggestions, leads, or other ideas for this section to Associate Editor Ashton Merck (@awmerck)