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Peer reviewed

Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook

Ed. by Ziegler, Dieter


CiteScore 2018: 0.06

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.115
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.203

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ISSN
2196-6842
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Volume 53, Issue 1

Issues

A Dutch Multinational’s Miracle in Post-war Germany

Ben Wubs
  • 1 Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communicati, DR Rotterdam, Niederlande
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2012-05-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/jbwg.2012.0002

Abstract

At the end of the 1960s a statistical survey run by the Bundesbank, revealed that the Netherlands was the second largest foreign direct investor in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). Only the American multinationals, which had become the world’s most important foreign direct investors after the war, had invested more in the FRG at that time. However, Dutch multinational investments in Germany had a long history and developed largely before the Second World War, often against the odds. At the end of the 1930s Dutch investments had been even larger than the investments of all American multinationals in Germany combined. Directly after the war all Dutch assets were put under Allied control, however despite this the big Dutch multinationals - Unilever, Royal Dutch Shell, Philips, and AKU – were able to regain control over their investments at the end of the 1940s. From this point onwards they continued to further expand their interests in the neighbouring country. This paper addresses the question of how and why the major Dutch multinationals were able to regain their property, and then grow so luxuriantly in the FRG. It shows that historical continuities and path dependence played a key role in this, alongside favourable market conditions after the war. The outcome, however, was uncertain and depended partly on extensive lobby activities.

Keywords: Dutch multinationals; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG); foreign direct investments (FDI); deconcentration; path dependence

About the article

Published Online: 2012-05-24

Published in Print: 2012-05-01


Citation Information: Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, Volume 53, Issue 1, Pages 15–41, ISSN (Print) 0075-2800, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/jbwg.2012.0002.

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