Front Matter

Evolutions of Capitalism

Historical Perspectives: 1200–2000

Edited by

Catherine Casson and Philipp Robinson Rössner

First published in Great Britain in 2022 by

Bristol University Press

University of Bristol

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  • List of Figures and Tables iv

  • Notes on Contributors v

  • Acknowledgements vii

  1. 1Introduction

    Catherine Casson and Philipp Robinson Rössner 1

  2. 2The Market as an Institution: Theory and History

    Mark Casson 29

  3. 3Regulating Capitalism

    Philipp Robinson Rössner 53

  4. 4Capitalism and State Ownership Models

    Sverre A. Christensen 73

  5. 5Comparative and Connected Global Capitalism(s)

    Edmond Smith 100

  6. 6Capitalism, Imperialism and the Emergence of an Industrialized Global Economy

    Colin M. Lewis 127

  7. 7Religion and Capitalism

    David J. Jeremy 156

  8. 8Capitalism and the Environment

    Geoffrey Jones 187

  9. 9Capitalism and Income Inequality

    Catherine Casson 212

  10. 10Conclusion

    Catherine Casson and Philipp Robinson Rössner 237

List of Figures and Tables


  1. 2.1 Social network linking different groups of customers to shops 41
  2. 9.1 Ratio of net national wealth to net national income, 1850–2015 214
  3. 9.2 UK Real GDP per capita and average real earnings, 1801–2010 222
  4. 9.3 US Real GDP per capita and money wage of unskilled labour, 1800–2010 222


  1. 1.1 Five functions relevant to capitalism and their dates of emergence 19
  2. 2.1 List of eight groups of consumers classified by the shops with which they are in contact, showing the shops at which they will make a purchase 42
  3. 4.1 State ownership in companies on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE), 8 February 2021 83
  4. 6.1 The Great Divergence: continental share of global GDP (%) 132
  5. 7.1 Relative sizes of main Nonconformist sects, 1750–1850, in England and Wales 165
  6. 7.2 Major Nonconformist groups among cotton masters compared with Nonconformists’ shares of the population, in Lancashire 166
  7. 7.3 Nonconformist inventors of new technology active in England and Wales, 1700–1850, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 167
  8. 7.4 John Gladstone’s slave holdings in the British West Indies 177

Notes on Contributors

  • Catherine Casson is Senior Lecturer in Enterprise at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. Her publications include articles in Urban History, Business History Review, Business History and the Economic History Review and the co-authored book Compassionate Capitalism: Business and Community in Medieval England (Bristol University Press, 2020).

  • Mark Casson is Professor of Economics at the University of Reading and Director of the Centre for Institutions and Economic History. He has published in Economic History Review, Explorations in Economic History and Business History Review. He is the co-author (with Catherine Casson) of The Entrepreneur in History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

  • Sverre A. Christensen is Associate Professor at the Norwegian Business School. He has co-authored several company histories and anthologies with emphasis on (foreign) ownership and corporate governance. He has also published extensively on Norwegian state ownership, including in Scandinavian Economic History Review.

  • David J. Jeremy is Emeritus Professor of Business History, Manchester Metropolitan University. His publications include Capitalists and Christians: Business Leaders and the Churches in Britain, 1900–1960 (Oxford University Press, 1990) and the prize-winning Transatlantic Industrial Revolution: The Diffusion of Textile Technologies between Britain and America, 1790–1830s (MIT Press and Basil Blackwell, 1981).

  • Geoffrey Jones is the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at Harvard Business School. His publications include Multinationals and Global Capitalism: From the Nineteenth to Twenty First Century (Oxford University Press, 2005) and Profits and Sustainability: A Global History of Green Entrepreneurship (Oxford University Press, 2017).

  • Colin M. Lewis is Professor Emeritus of Latin American Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has held visiting professorships and/or taught at institutions including the University of São Paulo in Brazil and the Economics Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • Philipp Robinson Rössner is Professor of Early Modern History, Department of History, University of Manchester. He received PhDs from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Leipzig. His publications include Economic Growth and the Origins of Modern Political Economy: Economic Reasons of State, 1500–2000 (Routledge, 2016).

  • Edmond Smith is Presidential Fellow in Economic Cultures, Department of History, University of Manchester. He has published in Economic History Review and the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History and is co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project ‘Legacies of the British Slave Trade’.


We are grateful for funding from the Alliance Manchester Business School Research Support fund, which allowed us to hold a workshop as preparation for this volume. We would also like to thank the anonymous referees for their feedback.

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