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The Limited Partnership in New York, 1822–1858: Partnerships Without Kinship


  • Hilt, Eric
  • O'Banion, Katharine


In 1822 New York became the first of many common law states to authorize the formation of limited partnerships. Little is known about the effects of these statutes. This article analyzes the use of the limited partnership in nineteenth-century New York City. We find that the form was adopted by a surprising number of firms, and that limited partnerships had more capital, failed at lower rates, and had fewer members with kinship ties, compared to ordinary partnerships. The results suggest that the introduction of the limited partnership facilitated investments that would not have occurred in the absence of the form.

Suggested Citation

  • Hilt, Eric & O'Banion, Katharine, 2009. "The Limited Partnership in New York, 1822–1858: Partnerships Without Kinship," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 615-645, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:69:y:2009:i:03:p:615-645_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Naomi R. Lamoreaux, 2014. "Revisiting American Exceptionalism: Democracy and the Regulation of Corporate Governance in Nineteenth-Century Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 20231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jeremy Atack & Robert A. Margo, 2019. "Gallman revisited: blacksmithing and American manufacturing, 1850–1870," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 13(1), pages 1-23, January.
    3. Ran Abramitzky & Zephyr Frank & Aprajit Mahajan, 2009. "Inside the Black Box: Partnerships in Rio de Janeiro, 1870-1891," Discussion Papers 08-044, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    4. Timothy W Guinnane & Susana Mart�nez-Rodr�guez, 2018. "Choice of Enterprise Form: Spain, 1886–1936," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-26.
    5. 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.
    6. Sikka, Prem & Stittle, John, 2019. "Debunking the myth of shareholder ownership of companies: Some implications for corporate governance and financial reporting," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    7. Timothy Guinnane & Jakob Schneebacher, 2018. "Capital Structure and the Choice of Enterprise Form: theory and history," Working Papers 1061, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.

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