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Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870

Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870: A Comparative Institutional Approach

Sabine Go
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870
    Book Description:

    Marine insurance has been of great importance to the expansion of long distance trade and economic growth in the early modern period, in particular for seafaring nations such as the Dutch Republic. The Amsterdam market became Europes leading insurance market and within the Republic other insurance systems also emerged. Little is known about the differing institutional frameworks governing these industries and the interaction between the institutions and the actors in the industry.

    This study will examine the development of marine insurance in the Netherlands in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the province of Groningen from c. 1600 to 1870 from an institutional point of view. It will examine how the behaviour of authorities, insurers, underwriters and brokers was affected by the formal and informal constraints of the industry and how in turn their conduct has influenced the institutional framework and induced institutional change.

    A comparative institutional analysis will be made of three insurance systems in the Netherlands, each with its own distinctive characteristics. The interaction between institutions and actors will be studied in relation to the effects of technological innovations and international geo-political changes. By examining developments over a period of two and half centuries the path of long-term institutional change becomes discernable.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-2127-2
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. List of tables, graphs and maps
    (pp. 7-7)
  2. Chapter 1 Introduction
    (pp. 13-29)

    Marine insurance has facilitated the development of long-distance trade and as such has influenced economic growth and progress of, in particular, seafaring nations in the early modern period. Its emergence, development and characteristics are therefore of importance to both economic historians and economists. Also, the existing structure and nature of marine insurance is rooted in early modern times: without marine insurance to facilitate long-distance trade maritime expansion would have been even more complicated than it is now, more costly and risky; developments would have taken place at a different pace and might even have taken a different route.

    This research...

  3. Chapter 2 Groningen: mutual interests and financial innovation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
    (pp. 31-60)

    Marine insurance, now a common aspect of corporate risk management, emerged and developed during the Early Modern Period and played a crucial role in the expansion of long-distance trade. Amsterdam, the largest and dominant insurance market, has received most scholarly attention. However, outside Amsterdam’s direct sphere of influence, in the Republic’s northern province of Groningen, an alternative form of marine insurance was developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: mutual insurance boxes. These boxes were affiliated with skippers’ guilds, and emerged early in the seventeenth century. Their development is of importance, not only because they originated earlier than was previously...

  4. Chapter 3 Amsterdam: individuals, ineffectual regulations and intricate balances of power in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
    (pp. 61-158)

    Amsterdam as a centre of trade, and as the heart of the financial world, with its dominant staple market, has been elaborately researched, as has the economic development of the Dutch Republic in general.¹ For the purpose of this research I base my analysis on a number of recent studies which are directly relevant to our central issue. In order to understand the developments during this period – impressive growth and expansion during the first half of the seventeenth century, followed by a period of stagnation after 1650, revival during the second quarter of the eighteenth century and finally decline until...

  5. Chapter 4 Rotterdam: commercial and political collusion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
    (pp. 159-270)

    Having analysed the financial innovative mutual insurances in the province of Groningen and the disparity between formal and informal institutions and the consequences for the actors in Amsterdam, my analysis of the marine insurance industry now focuses on Rotterdam and more specifically on the formal and informal institutions governing the insurance market and influencing the actors in the industry.

    Until the nineteenth century, Rotterdam was surpassed by its peer at the IJ in many ways. Did the insurance market evolve in a similar way to what we see in Amsterdam or did the size of the business bring about other...

  6. Chapter 5 Conclusion
    (pp. 271-288)

    The development of marine insurance has been imperative for the expansion of long-distance maritime trade. Without marine insurance, the Dutch Republic would not have been able to enlarge its trade networks and in all likelihood would not have prospered as it did in the early modern era. The emergence and early development of marine insurance in the Netherlands has been fairly well documented. The effects of seasonal cycles, political changes, and technological innovations have been studied by a variety of scholars, mainly from a legal point of view. However, lately, several prominent scholars have emphasised the relevance of institutional structures...

  7. Samenvatting (summary in Dutch)
    (pp. 289-302)

    De opkomst en ontwikkeling van zeeverzekeringen is van groot belang geweest voor de expansie van langeafstandshandel gedurende de vroegmoderne tijd. Zonder zeeverzekeringen had de Republiek der Nederlanden haar handelsnetwerk niet zo kunnen uitbreiden en was zij vermoedelijk ook niet zo welvarend geworden. Het ontstaan en de ontwikkeling van maritieme verzekeringen in de Nederlanden is relatief goed gedocumenteerd, hoewel de gevolgen van seizoenspatronen, politieke omwentelingen en technologische ontwikkelingen op de verzekeringsmarkt vooral vanuit een juridisch standpunt zijn geanalyseerd.¹ Recentelijk, en in lijn met de hernieuwde aandacht voor de institutionele economie waarbij men verbanden legt tussen institutionele structuren en economische ontwikkeling op...

  8. Printed sources and literature
    (pp. 306-318)