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Corporate Ownership in France: The Importance of History

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  • Antoin E. Murphy

Abstract

This paper attempts to show the importance of history in influencing the structure of corporate ownership in France. The strong concentration of family ownership in France is traced to historical weaknesses in the money and capital markets that forced families to have recourse to self-financing. The weaknesses in the money and capital markets were greatly influenced by two eighteenth century financial traumas arising from John Law's Mississippi System (1716-20) and the financing of the French Revolution through the issue of the assignats in the 1790s.These financial traumas delayed significantly the emergence of banks and the capital market. Further historical factors influencing French corporate ownership were the changes in the inheritance law system at the start of the nineteenth century and, more recently, the emphasis on a pay-as-you-go pension system.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoin E. Murphy, 2004. "Corporate Ownership in France: The Importance of History," NBER Working Papers 10716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10716
    Note: CF
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10716.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2007. "Performance and Behavior of Family Firms: Evidence from the French Stock Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 709-751, June.
    2. White, Eugene Nelson, 1989. "Was There a Solution to the Ancien RĂ©gime's Financial Dilemma?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 545-568, September.
    3. Murphy, Antoin E., 1997. "John Law: Economic Theorist and Policy-maker," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286493.
    4. Ronald C. Anderson & David M. Reeb, 2003. "Founding-Family Ownership and Firm Performance: Evidence from the S&P 500," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1301-1327, June.
    5. Marco Becht & Fabrizio Barca, 2001. "The control of corporate Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13302, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Paul M. Healy & Krishna G. Palepu, 2003. "The Fall of Enron," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 3-26, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eduardo Siandra, 2005. "Uruguay Capital Market: Law-in-the-books or Law-in-action?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0205, Department of Economics - dECON.
    2. Prabirjit Sarkar, 2009. "Do the English Legal Origin Countries have More Dispersed Share Ownership and More Developed Financial Systems?," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 73-86.
    3. Richard A. Johnson & Karen Schnatterly & Scott G. Johnson & Shih-Chi Chiu, 2010. "Institutional Investors and Institutional Environment: A Comparative Analysis and Review," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s2), pages 1590-1613, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925

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