This book examines how multinational enterprises and international finance influenced the course of electrification around the world. Multinational enterprises played a crucial role in the spread of electric light and power from the 1870s through the first three decades of the twentieth century. Their role did not persist, as over time they exited through “domestication” (buy-outs, confiscations, or other withdrawals), so that by 1978 multinational enterprises in this sector had all but disappeared, replaced by electrical utility providers with national business structures. Yet, in recent years, there has been a vigorous revival. This book, a unique cooperative effort by the three authors and a group of experts from many countries, offers a fresh analysis of the history of multinational enterprise, taking an integrative approach, not simply comparing national electrification experiences, but supplying a truly global account.
Will Hausman graduated from William & Mary with a B.A. in economics in 1971 and received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois in 1976. He has taught at William & Mary since 1981 and currently is Chancellor Professor of Economics and Public Policy.