This book is a collection of seven original research papers by leading scholars of American economic history that were presented at a conference held at Vanderbilt University in December 2013 and revised in light of suggestions from conference participants and outside reviewers. Sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research and Vanderbilt University, the conference was entitled, “Enterprising America: Businesses, Banks, and Credit Markets in Historical Perspective.” The principal themes of the book include changes in business organization and governance, bank behavior and credit markets, and scale economies in nineteenth-century production. The introductory chapter provides a discussion of the background context that motivated the conference, follows with a summary of each chapter, and concludes with a brief recapitulation of the main findings and suggestions for further research.
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