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Dutch Multinational Enterprises in the United States: A Historical Summary

Mira Wilkins
The Business History Review
Vol. 79, No. 2 (Summer, 2005), pp. 193-273
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25097027
Page Count: 81
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Dutch Multinational Enterprises in the United States: A Historical Summary
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Abstract

The story of Dutch business in America began in the colonial period and continues into the present. The early Dutch trading companies of the seventeenth century, including the Dutch West India Company, were followed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by such firms as the Holland-America Line, Unilever, Royal Dutch Shell, and NV Philips. The historical pattern of these Dutch businesses contributes to the growing literature on multinational enterprises (MNEs) and is relevant to recent debates on the historical convergence and/or divergence of living standards and productivity in national economies. An examination of the history of Dutch MNEs operating in the United States reveals some of the ways that these firms fit into the larger framework of Dutch business overall and provides a way to compare the strategies of Dutch MNEs with those of MNEs from other countries.

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