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Institution Building and Variation in the Formation of the Australian Wool Market


Australian Economic History Review

Published online on


The relocation of the wool market from London to the major Australian port cities from the late nineteenth century required the formation of an institution to govern the auction business, namely the wool brokers' association. Regional variations, among Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, occurred in the structure and effectiveness of the institution despite each regional association having been formed around the same time, for the same purpose, and with an overlap of participating firms. We draw on institution theory to guide our account and find that the impact of legacy factors and differences in market conditions explain the regional variations.