IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Franks, Julian R & Mayer, Colin & Rossi, Stefano, 2003. "The Origination and Evolution of Ownership and Control," CEPR Discussion Papers 3822, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3822

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    2. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin, 2001. "Ownership and Control of German Corporations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 943-977.
    3. Marco Pagano & Fabio Panetta & and Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 27-64, February.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "The Rise of the Regulatory State," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 401-425, June.
    5. 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, April.
    6. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin & Renneboog, Luc, 2001. "Who Disciplines Management in Poorly Performing Companies?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 209-248, July.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, April.
    8. Franks, Julian & Mayer, Colin & Renneboog, Luc, 2001. "Who Disciplines Management in Poorly Performing Companies?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 10(3-4), pages 209-248, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bardhan, Pranab, 2005. "Law and Economics in the Tropics: Some Reflections," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 65-74, March.
    2. Pablo Casas-Arce & Albert Saiz, 2006. "Owning versus leasing: do courts matter?," Working Papers 06-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Pistor, Katharina, 2009. "Global network finance: Institutional innovation in the global financial market place," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 552-567, December.
    4. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine, 2003. "Legal Institutions and Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 10126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Van der Elst, Christoph, 2004. "Industry-specificities and size of corporations: determinants of ownership structures," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 425-446, December.
    6. Hilt, Eric, 2008. "When did Ownership Separate from Control? Corporate Governance in the Early Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(03), pages 645-685, September.
    7. Branko Urosevic, 2001. "Moral hazard and dynamics of insider ownership stakes," Economics Working Papers 787, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2004.
    8. Pablo Casas-Arce & Albert Saiz, 2010. "Owning versus Renting: Do Courts Matter?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 137-165, February.
    9. Enrico C. Perotti & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2004. "The Political Economy of Dominant Investors," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-091/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Enrico Perotti & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2005. "The Political Economy of Corporate Control," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-102/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. H. Yeung, 2006. "Change and Continuity in Southeast Asian Ethnic Chinese Business," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 229-254, September.
    12. C. van der Elst, 2004. "Industry-specificities and Size of Corporations: Determinants of Ownership Structures," Working Papers 04-19, Utrecht School of Economics.
    13. Enrico C. Perotti & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2006. "Corporate Governance and the Distribution of Wealth: A Political-Economy Perspective," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(1), pages 204-217, March.
    14. Claessens, Stijn & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, 2013. "Corporate governance in emerging markets: A survey," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 1-33.
    15. Santella, Paolo & Baffi, Enrico & Drago, Carlo & Lattuca, Dino, 2008. "A Comparative Analysis of the Legal Obstacles to Institutional Investor Activism in Europe and in the US," MPRA Paper 8929, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    control; investor protection; ownership; stock markets;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3822. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.