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Dutch Herring, Technology, and International Trade in the Seventeenth Century

Richard W. Unger
The Journal of Economic History
Vol. 40, No. 2 (Jun., 1980), pp. 253-280
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2120179
Page Count: 28
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Dutch Herring, Technology, and International Trade in the Seventeenth Century
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Abstract

Herring exports to the Baltic from the Netherlands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were closely related to exports of the previous year rather than to aggregate levels of trade. Dutch domination of the European market for salted herring in the seventeenth century thus cannot be explained by some external factor but rather by the internal nature of the Dutch fishery: by technology, organization, and the institutions which administered it. Regulation was designed to maximize rents but, as other fishermen gained the skills of their Dutch competitors, that strategy turned into one which at first limited sales and then returns to the Dutch industry.

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