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"Vintage Kindleberger: well-written, witty, and informative."
—Rondo Cameron, Emory University
"A fascinating and enlightening guide to economic history, maritime lore, and labor market analysis. Kindleberger develops a trenchant critique of the current tendency to interpret all labor market phenomena as optimal and efficient outcomes and he does so with his usual wit and insight."
—Daniel Mitchell, UCLA.
In this volume, eminent economist Charles Kindleberger sets out to challenge the widespread belief that the market for seafarers, in the days before steam, was efficient, conforming more or less to a strong prior belief in the neo-classical economic model of supply and demand.
Maritime history is traditionally strewn with references to crimping or shanghaiing, naval press-gangs, desertion, mutiny, marooning and shipwrecks due to drunkeness or negligence. In contrast, Kindleberger examines issues of recruitment and pay, the treatment of seamen, and the question of government intervention and its impact on efficiency, in the engaging narrative style that is his trademark.
Offering an original and informative account of the markets for seafarers in the age of sail, Mariners and Markets will be welcomed by economic and maritime historians alike.
|List of illustrations|
|Ch. 1||Recruitment and pay||1|
|Migratory seasonal labor||5|
|For lack of better||6|
|The nursery for seamen||13|
|Impressment and press-gangs||16|
|Recruitment in France||19|
|Ch. 2||The sailor's life at sea and in port||34|
|Disease and illness||40|
|Food and drink||43|
|Ch. 3||Government, non-competing groups, and the efficiency of markets for seafarers||63|
|Reformers and charities||70|
|Government in behalf of shipowners||73|
|Sailors v. sailors, and sailors v. the population||75|