Background and activities

I am postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Historical Studies at NTNU since 2015. In 2014, I obtained my PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam in economic and business history. My thesis was awarded best dissertation of 2014-2015 by the European Business History Association in 2016. I hold a BA in history and an MA in Media & Journalism from the Erasmus University. My interests are mainly in business history and transnational history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, comprising themes such as foreign direct investment, political risk, business and war, the history of the oil industry, and the history of commodity trading.  

Currently I am working on the research project The hidden companies of the global economy: the development of international commodity traders, 1945-2015, funded among others by the Norwegian Research Council. My focus is on the history of independent oil trading firms, in particular their origins, evolution and impact on the global flow of oil since the mid-1960s.

I am an elected member of the board of the European Business History Association since 2018.  

My latest book: Multinational Enterprise and Transnational Regions

Multinational Enterprise and Transnational Regions

See CV for a full list of publications. 

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications


Part of book/report


  • Boon, Marten. (2014) Oil Pipelines, Politics and International Business. The Rotterdam oil port, Royal Dutch Shell and the German hinterland, 1945-1975. 2014.


  • Boon, Marten. (2018) Theoretical approaches to commodity trading companies. Workshop in preparation of Business History special issue 'Commodity Trading Companies in the First Global Economy' ; Trondheim. 2018-03-16 - 2018-03-16.
  • Boon, Marten. (2017) Economic Geography and Business History. 9th Summer School of the European Business History Association . Marche Polytechnic University; Ancona. 2017-09-04 - 2017-09-09.
  • Boon, Marten. (2017) Making Markets: Royal Dutch/Shell and the commoditization of oil, 1974-1986. 21st Annual Congress European Business History Association ; Vienna. 2017-08-24 - 2017-08-26.
  • Boon, Marten. (2017) Petropreneurs: business opportunities in the Rotterdam Oil Port, 1860-2000s. 7th Transnational Rhine Conference ; Düsseldorf. 2017-09-21 - 2017-09-23.
  • Boon, Marten. (2017) Theoretical approaches to commodity trading companies. Commodity Trading Companies in the First Global Economy, 1870-1913 . Marten Boon, Espen Storli; Rotterdam. 2017-02-03 - 2017-02-04.
  • Boon, Marten. (2016) Deuss’ demise: an oil trader’s struggle to keep up with the market, 1970s-1990s. Joint Conference Association of Business Historians (ABH) and Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte (GUG) ; Berlin. 2016-05-27 - 2016-05-28.
  • Boon, Marten. (2016) Ports as trading hubs? Market structure, physical flows and the trading function, 1880s-1980s. American Association of Geographer Annual Meeting ; San Francisco. 2016-03-29 - 2016-04-02.
  • Boon, Marten. (2016) The risks and rewards of trading oil: the commodification of a strategic industry. CEGBI event ; York. 2016-10-31 - 2016-10-31.
  • Boon, Marten. (2016) Trading Soviet oil: traders, markets and prices, 1970s-1980s. European Business History Association 20th annual conference / First World Business History Conference ; Bergen. 2016-08-25 - 2016-08-27.
  • Boon, Marten. (2016) Trading: Approaches to a ’hidden’ business activity in the oil industry. Forskningskonferanse Norsk olje- og gassarkiv & Norsk Oljemuseum ; Stavanger. 2016-03-10 - 2016-03-11.
  • Boon, Marten. (2015) Political Risk in Cold War France. The Case of the Trans-European Pipeline, 1956-1960. 17th World Economic History Congress ; Kyoto. 2015-08-03 - 2015-08-07.
  • Boon, Marten. (2015) The Hidden Companies of the Global Economy. Uncovering the History of Independent Oil Traders. Sixth European Oil and Gas Archives Network conference ; 2015-05-28 - 2015-05-29.
  • Boon, Marten. (2015) Understanding the rise of independent oil traders: looking beyond the controversies, 1960s-2000s. Inaugural Workshop ‘Hidden Companies of the Global Economy’ ; 2015-06-17 - 2015-06-17.