IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Corporate Pyramid Fable

Listed author(s):
  • Steven A. Bank and Brian R. Cheffins

    (UCLA School of Law; Cambridge University)

Registered author(s):

    Although corporate pyramids are currently commonplace world-wide and although there have been "noteworthy pyramiders" in American business history, this controversial form of corporate organization is now a rarity in the United States. The conventional wisdom is that corporate pyramids disappeared in the U.S. when New Deal policymakers began taxing dividends paid to corporate shareholders. This version of events is more fable than truth. The introduction of the intercorporate dividend tax did not foster a rapid dismantling of corporate pyramids. Instead, pyramidal arrangements were already rare in the U.S., other than in the utilities sector, and the demise of utility pyramids was prompted by the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935 rather than tax reform.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Harvard Business School in its journal Business History Review.

    Volume (Year): 84 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 435-458

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:hbs:journl:2010q3cheffins.pdf
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Soldiers Field, Boston, Massachusetts 02163

    Phone: 617.495.6000
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hbs:journl:2010q3cheffins.pdf. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Felice Whittum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.