Accessibility navigation


Path dependence and Britain’s "coal wagon problem"

Scott, P. (2001) Path dependence and Britain’s "coal wagon problem". Explorations in Economic History, 38 (3). pp. 366-385. ISSN 0014-4983

Full text not archived in this repository.

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/exeh.2000.0766

Abstract/Summary

This article explores the nature and impact of path dependence in British rail coal haulage before 1939. It examines the factors which locked Britain's railways into a system of small coal wagons with highly fragmented ownership, the cost penalties of this system, and the reasons that attempts at modernization were unsuccessful. The analysis highlights the importance of decentralized ownership of a highly durable installed base of complementary infrastructure. Technical and institutional interrelatedness blocked incremental modernization, while the political requirement to compensate private wagon owners for the loss of their wagon stock made wholesale rationalization financially unattractive.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:26474
Uncontrolled Keywords:path dependence; complementarities; installed base; interrelatedness
Publisher:Elsevier

Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation