Abstract

Abstract:

In this article, I describe the partial forward integration of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Boston breweries. I argue that both brewers and saloonkeepers used the fluid market in capital lending as a lever of power. An analysis of the minutes of three breweries and their loan records, covering more than ten years, reveals that saloonkeepers were often delinquent in repaying their annual loans and brewery owners only infrequently threatened to call the loans. Using the structure-conduct-performance paradigm, I suggest that the particular conditions in Boston (a limited number of saloon licenses and a geographical position that precluded long-distance shipping of beer) gave the saloonkeepers much greater leverage in the so-called "tied system." Brewers used vertical restraints but, because of obligations to British owners, did not fully forward integrate by buying saloon property, as brewers did in the United Kingdom.

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