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Financial acumen, women speculators, and the Royal African company during the South Sea bubble

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  • Ann Carlos
  • Karen Maguire
  • Larry Neal

Abstract

Price bubbles provide a unique opportunity to study the financial acumen of shareholders. We focus on the 1720 South Sea episode as experienced by the Royal African Company whose stock was more speculative than other joint stocks. During 1720 the company had a new large stock issue. This paper examines the financial acumen of those women who traded senior and engrafted stock across 1720. We find that depending on the pricing regime, these women at worst broke even on their activities or had positive speculative gains. Our findings are consistent with a growing literature on the positive link between gender, capital gains and financial markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann Carlos & Karen Maguire & Larry Neal, 2006. "Financial acumen, women speculators, and the Royal African company during the South Sea bubble," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 219-243.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:acbsfi:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:219-243 DOI: 10.1080/09585200600756241
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laibson, David, 1998. "Life-cycle consumption and hyperbolic discount functions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 861-871, May.
    2. Goodin, Robert E., 1982. "Discounting Discounting," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 53-71, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yang Hu & Les Oxley, 2017. "Exuberance in Historical Stock Prices during the Mississippi and South Seas Bubble Episodes," Working Papers in Economics 17/08, University of Waikato.
    2. Frehen, Rik G.P. & Goetzmann, William N. & Geert Rouwenhorst, K., 2013. "New evidence on the first financial bubble," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, pages 585-607.
    3. Gary S. Shea, 2011. "(Re)financing the Slave Trade with the Royal African Company in the Boom Markets of 1720," CDMA Working Paper Series 201114, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    4. repec:eee:ecolet:v:162:y:2018:i:c:p:131-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hu, Yang & Oxley, Les, 2018. "Do 18th century ‘bubbles’ survive the scrutiny of 21st century time series econometrics?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 131-134.

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