Title

Manufacturing Strategies in the Eighteenth Century: Subcontracting for Growth among Papermakers in the Auvergne

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1998

Journal

The Journal of Economic History

Volume

58

Issue

1

First Page

155

Last Page

182

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022050700019926

Abstract

From the sixteenth century to the end of the eighteenth century, the papermakers of Ambert (Auvergne, France) remained the leading producers of quality printing paper in Europe. During the second half of the eighteenth century, they expanded greatly their production in response to a dynamic market. This success was achieved not through the adoption of new methods or the expansion of enterprises but through subcontracting practices. This article explores the conditions that fostered such strategies. It confirms the multiplicity of options available to early modern manufacturers but suggests that the socioeconomic characteristics of each community of producers conditioned their choices.