I published the second edition of The Dynamics of a Coalfield in part to improve the references & sources I’d used but also to include an essay on what I call ‘Prestige Theory’. There’s a chapter in the book which was prompted by my realisation that some railway routes laid down in the 19th century made no economic or business sense at all, so why had they been built? Principally I concluded because they could. This was corporate virility in action: invading the territory of a rival. Other than that the aim of the book was to use Game Theory as an interpretive tool to discover what was going on in a developing coalfield during the 19th century. Incidentally if you want to learn about GT which is a fascinating subject, then the best teacher is Professor Scott Stevens of James Madison University. You can get his lectures on DVD.

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