Henning HILLMANN (Universität Mannheim, MZES) – “Careers and Cohesion in Economic Networks”
December 13, 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
The Sociology Seminar: Thursdays
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Date: 13th of December 2018
Place: Room 3105, ENSAE.
Henning HILLMANN (Universität Mannheim, MZES) – “Careers and Cohesion in Economic Networks“
Abstract : A pivotal period within world economic history was the age of mercantilism because it entailed the first expansion of overseas trade on a global scale. What were the local organizational foundations of this trade development? As a case in point, I focus on the port of Saint-Malo in the French Atlantic economy under the Ancien Régime (c.1681-1791). From a sociological point of view, one question is particularly salient for understanding how overseas trade was organized locally, on the ground: what micro-mechanisms facilitated the social cohesion of merchant communities? Answering this question is important because the formation of trade partnerships required networks of collaboration. I answer this question using quantitative evidence from the complete networks of venture partnerships among 2,145 merchants that I coded from archival contract and notarial records. Based on this evidence I show that partnerships in the course (privateering enterprise) facilitated transitive closure among the Malouin merchant elites. As their investment careers began to evolve into diverse portfolios of trades beyond the course, they eventually helped to maintain cohesion within the merchant community at large, whether intentional or not.
Jeanne GANAULT, Céline GOFFETTE, Sander WAGNER (Laboratoire de sociologie quantitative – CREST)