Markets and Measurements in Nineteenth-Century Britain

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 25, 2012 - Business & Economics - 262 pages
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Measurements are a central institutional component of markets and economic exchange. By the nineteenth century, the measurement system in Britain was desperately in need of revision: a multiplicity of measurement standards, proliferation of local or regional weights and measures, and a confusing array of measurement practices made everyday measurements unreliable. Aashish Velkar uncovers how metrology and economic logic alone failed to make 'measurements' reliable, and discusses the importance of localised practices in shaping trust in them. Markets and Measurements in Nineteenth-Century Britain steers away from the traditional explanations of measurement reliability based on the standardisation and centralisation of metrology; the focus is on changing measurement practices in local economic contexts. Detailed case studies from the industrial revolution suggest that such practices were path-dependent and 'anthropocentric'. Therefore, whilst standardised metrology may have improved precision, it was localised practices that determined the reliability and trustworthiness of measurements in economic contexts.
 

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Contents

What made measurements reliable?
8
Implications
28
Reforming European metrology
54
Mensuration and local measurement practices
68
Standard setting and standardisation
84
Structure of the London coal trade
100
Reforming the coal trade 18001830
114
Conclusions
132
a solution for transactional problems
151
Gauges after 1883
167
a supplyside perspective
183
The case of natural weight measurements
201
Conclusions
216
Milestones in the international
229
Bibliography
243
Index
259

Uniform
134

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About the author (2012)

Aashish Velkar is a lecturer in International Business at the University of Sussex. Prior to entering academia, Aashish held managerial positions at international consulting firms in South Asia.

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