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Did the Cooperative Start Life as a Joint-Stock Company? Business Law and Cooperatives in Spain, 1869-1931

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  • Timothy Guinnane

    ()
    (Economics Department, Yale University)

  • Susana Martinez-Rodriguez

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Murcia, Spain)

Abstract

Studies of Spanish cooperatives date their spread from the Law on Agrarian Syndicates of 1906. But the first legislative appearance of cooperatives is an 1869 measure that permitted general incorporation for lending companies. The 1931 general law on cooperatives, which was the first act permitting the formation of cooperatives in any activity, reflects the gradual disappearance of the cooperative’s “business” characteristics. In this paper we trace the Spanish cooperative’s legal roots in business law and its connections to broader questions of the freedom of association, the formation of joint-stock enterprises, and the liability of investors in business and cooperative entities. Our account underscores the similarities of the organizational problems approach by cooperatives and business firms, while at the same time respecting the distinctive purposes cooperatives served.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 987.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:987

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Keywords: cooperative; general incorporation; business enterprise; freedom of association; freedom of contract;

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  1. Arlette Beltrán & Juan Francisco Castro, 2010. "Introducción," Chapters of Books, in: Arlette Beltrán & Juan Francisco Castro (ed.), Modelos de datos de panel y variables dependientes limitadas: teoría y práctica, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 7-12 Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico.
    • Arlette Beltrán Barco & Karlos La Serna Studzinski, 2009. "Introducción," Chapters of Books, in: Arlette Beltrán Barco & Karlos La Serna Studzinski (ed.), ¿Cuán relevante es la educación escolar en el desempeño universitario?, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 9-14 Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico.
    • Arlette Beltrán & Juan Francisco Castro & Gustavo Yamada, 2008. "Introducción," Chapters of Books, in: Arlette Beltrán & Juan Francisco Castro & Gustavo Yamada (ed.), Hacia un programa de crédito de largo plazo para la educación superior en el Perú, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 13-14 Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico.
    • Arlette Beltrán & Juan Francisco Castro, 2010. "Introducción," Chapters of Books, in: Arlette Beltrán & Juan Francisco Castro (ed.), Modelos de datos de panel y variables dependientes limitadas: teoría y práctica, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 7-12 Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico.
  2. Timothy W. Guinnane, 1997. "Cooperatives as Information Machines: German Rural Credit Cooperatives, 1883-1914," Discussion Papers 97-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Timothy Guinnane & Ron Harris & Naomi R. Lamoreaux & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2007. "Putting the Corporation in its Place," NBER Working Papers 13109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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