Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Economic Theory and the Rise of Big Business in America, 1870–1910


Between 1870 and 1910, big business established itself as a prominent feature of the American economy. American economists paid close attention to its rise and confronted the difficulties of integrating large firms into economic theory. The result was a theory that emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship, that enlarged the scope of competition, that distinguished profit from other forms of income, and that was compatible with large-scale enterprise. The insights of earlier American economists have been lost to modern economic theory, which extols the virtues of small firms.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Naomi Lamoreaux , The Great Merger Movement in American Business (Cambridge, U.K., 1985).

Martin J. Sklar , The Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism, 1890–1916 (Cambridge, U.K., 1988).

Geoffrey M. Hodgson , How Economics Forgot History (London, 2001), 149.

Martin J. Sklar , The Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism, 1890–1916 (Cambridge, U.K., 1988), 6061, summarizes Jenks's views on trusts.

Alfred D. Chandler Jr., Franco Amatori , and Takashi Hikino , Big Business and the Wealth of Nations (Cambridge, U.K., 1997), 26

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Business History Review
  • ISSN: 0007-6805
  • EISSN: 2044-768X
  • URL: /core/journals/business-history-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 39 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 110 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.