• Lotteries as Investments
    • “In the 18th century Britain frequently issued lottery loans, selling bonds whose size was determined by a draw soon after the sale. The probability distribution was perfectly known ex-ante and highly skewed. After the draw the bonds were identical (except for size) and indistinguishable from regular bonds. I collect market prices for the lottery tickets and show that investors were paying a substantial premium to be exposed to this purely artificial risk. I show that investors were well-to-do and included many merchants and bankers”
  • Cotton, the Oil of the 19th Century
    • “In 1861, the newly formed Confederate States of America, attempting to force England into the Civil War as an ally or as the instigator of a compromise that would acknowledge Southern independence, unanimously adopted King Cotton diplomacy. The South cut off England’s supply of cotton, the essential fuel for the British textile manufacturers.”
  • Women, Banks, and the Securities Market in Early 18th Century England
    • “Susan Staves’s work on women investors and the possibilities of voting as shareholders has led her to conclude that women holders of stock were ‘uninterested in ideology, [preferring] collecting and distributing presents (or bribes), and developing connections for their family interests’.”
  • The Lasting Effects of Trade Shocks on Financial Markets
    • “There are historical precedents for such a prolonged and significant shift in international trade. The American Civil War permanently reshaped the international trade in cotton, while France’s access to sugar imports was severely restricted during the Napoleonic Wars. These episodes, as well as innovations in public finance during the Nine Years’ War, show us how seemingly temporary market perturbations can prefigure important long-term changes.”
  • Investing in Charities in the 19th Century
    • “This study deals with the impact of financialisation on the development of charity during the 19th century. We argue that this has two key aspects, firstly the growth of charitable provision via limited companies and secondly the financial audit by charities of the claimants who approached them, Limited companies operated mainly in the field of subsidized housing.”

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