Democratic Dividends: Stockholding, Wealth, and Politics in New York, 1791–1826
AbstractThis paper analyzes the early history of corporate shareholding, and its relationship with political change. In the late eighteenth century, corporations were extremely rare and were dominated by elites, but in the early nineteenth century, after American politics became significantly more democratic, corporations proliferated rapidly. Using newly collected data, this paper compares the wealth and status of New York City households who owned corporate stock to the general population there both in 1791, when there were only two corporations in the state, and in 1826, when there were hundreds. The results indicate that although corporate stock was held principally by the cityâs elite merchants in both periods, share ownership became more widespread over time among less affluent households. In particular, the corporations created in the 1820s were owned and managed by investors who were less wealthy than the stockholders of corporations created in earlier, less democratic periods in the stateâs history.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 72 (2012)
Issue (Month): 02 (June)
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Other versions of this item:
- Eric Hilt & Jacqueline Valentine, 2011. "Democratic Dividends: Stockholding, Wealth and Politics in New York, 1791-1826," NBER Working Papers 17147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
- N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
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