The trading of unlimited liability bank shares: the Bagehot Hypothesis
From the mid-1820s, banks became the first business sector in Great Britain and Ireland to be granted the right to form freely on an unlimited liability joint stock basis. Walter Bagehot, the renowned contemporary banking expert, warned that shares in such banks would ultimately be owned by widows, orphans and other impecunious individuals. An alternative hypothesis is that the governing bodies of these banks constrained by special legal restrictions on share trading acted effectively to prevent such shares being transferred to the less wealthy members of society. We test both conjectures using the archives of an Irish joint stock bank. The results do not support Bagehot's hypothesis, but instead indicate that shares continued to be owned by wealthy individuals.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Winton, Andrew, 1993. " Limitation of Liability and the Ownership Structure of the Firm," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 487-512, June.
- W. D. Rubinstein, 1977. "The Victorian Middle Classes: Wealth, Occupation, and Geography," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 30(4), pages 602-623, November.
- Carr, Jack L & Mathewson, G Frank, 1988. "Unlimited Liability as a Barrier to Entry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 766-84, August.
- Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
- Grossman, Peter Z, 1995. "The Market for Shares of Companies with Unlimited Liability: The Case of American Express," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 63-85, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp241. 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: (Howard Cobb)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.