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The Origination and Evolution of Ownership and Control

  • Franks, Julian R
  • Mayer, Colin
  • Rossi, Stefano

In the first half of the twentieth century, the UK capital markets were marked by an absence of investor protection; by the end of the century, there was more extensive protection there than virtually anywhere else in the world. The UK therefore provides an exceptional laboratory for evaluating how regulation affects the development of securities markets and corporations. We investigate this question by tracing the ownership and board composition of firms incorporated in around 1900 over the subsequent 100 years, and comparing the pattern of ownership and control with a sample incorporated around 1960. We find that at the beginning of the century there were active securities markets, firms were able to raise substantial outside equity finance, and there was rapid dispersion of ownership even in the absence of investor protection. The introduction of investor protection in the second half of the century was not associated with greater dispersion of ownership but with more trading in share blocks. We offer an explanation as to how UK capital markets could flourish in the absence of investor protection.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3822.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3822
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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Clifford G. Holderness & Randall S. Kroszner & Dennis P. Sheehan, 1999. "Were the Good Old Days That Good? Changes in Managerial Stock Ownership Since the Great Depression," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 435-469, 04.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Julian Franks & Colin Mayer, 2001. "Ownership and Control of German Corporations," OFRC Working Papers Series 2001fe11, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "The Rise of the Regulatory State," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1934, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Marco Pagano & Fabio Panetta & Luigi Zingales, . "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," CRSP working papers 330, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  7. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Working Papers 2342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Franks, Julian R & Mayer, Colin & Renneboog, Luc, 2001. "Who Disciplines Management in Poorly Performing Companies?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2949, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Mark J. Roe, 1997. "The Political Roots Of American Corporate Finance," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 9(4), pages 8-22.
  10. H. Cox, 1999. "Foreword," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages i-ii, 06.
  11. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
  12. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  13. Demsetz, Harold, 1983. "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 375-90, June.
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