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Factory Productivity and the Concession System of Incorporation in Late Imperial Russia, 1894–1908


  • Amanda G. Gregg


In Imperial Russia, incorporation required an expensive special concession, yet over 4,000 Russian firms incorporated before 1914. I identify the characteristics of incorporating firms and measure the productivity gains and growth in machine power enjoyed by corporations using newly-constructed factory-level panel data compiled from Russian factory censuses. Factories owned by corporations were larger, more productive, and more mechanized than unincorporated factories. Higher productivity factories were more likely to incorporate and, after incorporating, added machine power and became even more labor productive. Russian firms sought the corporate form's full set of advantages, not just stock markets access, to obtain scarce long-term financing.

Suggested Citation

  • Amanda G. Gregg, 2020. "Factory Productivity and the Concession System of Incorporation in Late Imperial Russia, 1894–1908," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(2), pages 401-427, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:110:y:2020:i:2:p:401-27
    DOI: 10.3886/E110681V1
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20151656

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dennison,Tracy, 2011. "The Institutional Framework of Russian Serfdom," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521194488.
    2. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    3. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    4. Nafziger, Steven, 2010. "Peasant communes and factor markets in late nineteenth-century Russia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 381-402, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amanda Gregg & Steven Nafziger, 2019. "Capital structure and corporate performance in late Imperial Russia," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 446-481.
    2. Gregg, Amanda & Nafziger, Steven, 2020. "Financing nascent industry : Leverage, politics, and performance in Imperial Russia," BOFIT Discussion Papers 7/2020, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    3. Guinnane, Timothy W. & Schneebacher, Jakob, 2020. "Enterprise form: Theory and history," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    4. Richard Brooks & Timothy W. Guinnane, 2017. "The Right to Associate and the Rights of Associations: Civil-Society Organizations in Prussia, 1794–1908," NBER Chapters, in: Organizations, Civil Society, and the Roots of Development, pages 291-329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Tomohiro Machikita & Tetsuji Okazaki, 2019. "Transition to a Modern Regime and Change in Plant Lifecycles: A Natural Experiment from Meiji Japan," CIGS Working Paper Series 19-006E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    6. Tomihiro Machikita & Tetsuji Okazaki, 2019. "Transition to a Modern Regime and Change in PlantLifecycles: A Natural Experiment from Meiji Japan," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1122, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N63 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: Pre-1913


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