The Profitability of Dutch Business in Late Colonial Indonesia

https://doi.org/10.22146/lembaran-sejarah.39860

Jan Thomas Lindblad(1*)

(1) Leiden University
(*) Corresponding Author

Abstract


The issue of profitability of colonial business lies at the core of the argument about a possible colonial drain depriving the overseas territory of opportunities to selfsustained economic growth. This contribution seeks to assess whether profit rates of private foreign firms in the colonial economy can be considered excessive or a reasonable compensation for capital and know-how made available to the colony. The article contains brief sections on historiography and methodology as well as new estimates, including a preliminary discussion of results. The article argues that profit rates in colonial business were generally higher than elsewhere, but also that the difference was smaller than has often been imagined.

Keywords


business history; foreign investment; colonial economic history; profits

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References

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Buelens, Frans & Ewout Frankema. ‘Colonial adventures in tropical agriculture: New estimates of returns to investment in the Netherlands Indies 1919-1938’, Cliometrica Vol. 19 No. 2 (2016) 197-224.

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Websites

Colonial Business Indonesia (CBI), file ‘CBI Database ID’, at www.

colonialbusinessindonesia.nl.

Stichting Capital Amsterdam, file ‘Prijs-couranten’, at www.capitalamsterdam.com.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/lembaran-sejarah.39860

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