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Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Higgins
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2017.
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The Manchester Chamber of Commerce established the Manchester Testing House in 1895, and introduced uniform yarn contracting rules in 1897. The chamber made these institutional “innovations” to deal with the nefarious practice of “short-reeling.” This case study explains how and why merchants were crucial to undoing weaknesses in domestic —and to some extent foreign—legislation to overcome this fraudulent activity. We argue that the Testing House and uniform contract were tantamount to developing a quasi-legal system such that private standards established through cooperative agreements had legal sanction. Our study shows how institutions evolved to improve governance along the supply chain for this highly specialized export-orientated industry. This article contributes to the growing literature on historical markets, institutions, and standards. Based on extensive archival sources, we show how specific and complementary commercial institutions developed within grounded notions of governance rather than abstracted spaces of market exchange.
Author(s): Higgins DM, Velkar A
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Enterprise & Society
Online publication date: 06/03/2017
Acceptance date: 06/09/2016
Date deposited: 21/03/2017
ISSN (print): 1467-2227
ISSN (electronic): 1467-2235
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Notes: Joint winner of the Philip Scranton prize for the best article published in Enterprise & Society during 2017.
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