IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

When did Ownership Separate from Control? Corporate Governance in the Early Nineteenth Century

  • Eric Hilt

This paper analyzes the ownership and governance of the business corporations of New York State in the 1820s. Using a new dataset collected from the manuscript records of New York's 1823 capital tax, and from the charters of the corporations, I analyze the ownership structures of the firms, and investigate the degree to which ownership was separated from control at the time. In contrast to Berle and Means's account of the development of the corporation, the results indicate that many of the firms were dominated by large shareholders, who were represented on the firms' boards, and held sweeping power to utilize the firms' resources for their own benefit. The oppression of minority shareholders was a significant problem in early corporate governance, and many of the firms configured their voting rights in a way that curtailed the power of large investors. A positive relationship between firm value and these voting rights configurations is found among the publicly-traded firms in the sample.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13093.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13093.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13093
Note: CF DAE LE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1987. "One Share/One Vote and The Market for Corporate Control," Working papers 440, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Howard Bodenhorn, 2004. "Free Banking and Bank Entry in Nineteenth-Century New York," NBER Working Papers 10654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hilt, Eric, 2006. "Incentives in Corporations: Evidence from the American Whaling Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 197-227, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Helwege, Jean & Pirinsky, Christo & Stulz, Rene M., 2005. "Why Do Firms Become Widely Held? An Analysis of the Dynamics of Corporate Ownership," Working Paper Series 2005-14, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  6. Klein, Daniel & Majewski, John, 1991. "Economy, Community and Law: The Turnpike Movement in New York, 1797-1845," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt61b022cr, University of California Transportation Center.
  7. Howard Bodenhorn, 2006. "Bank Chartering and Political Corruption in Antebellum New York. Free Banking as Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 231-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rousseau, Peter L. & Sylla, Richard, 2005. "Emerging financial markets and early US growth," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-26, January.
  9. Lucian Bebchuk & Alma Cohen, 2004. "The Costs of Entrenched Boards," NBER Working Papers 10587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Marco Becht & J. Bradford DeLong, 2005. "Why Has There Been So Little Block Holding in America?," NBER Chapters, in: A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers, pages 613-666 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Paul Gompers & Joy Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Corporate Governance And Equity Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 107-155, February.
  12. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," NBER Working Papers 6625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Meissner, Christopher M., 2005. "Voting rules and the success of connected lending in 19th century New England banks," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 509-528, October.
  14. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  15. Jin, Li & Myers, Stewart C., 2006. "R2 around the world: New theory and new tests," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 257-292, February.
  16. Ann M. Carlos & Larry Neal, 2006. "The micro-foundations of the early London capital market: Bank of England shareholders during and after the South Sea Bubble, 1720-25 -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 59(3), pages 498-538, 08.
  17. 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.
  18. Laura Casares Field, 2001. "The Expiration of IPO Share Lockups," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 471-500, 04.
  19. Majewski, John, 1996. "Who Financed the Transportation Revolution? Regional Divergence and Internal Improvements in Antebellum Pennsylvania and Virginia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 763-788, December.
  20. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1988. "Corporate governance : Voting rights and majority rules," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 203-235, January.
  21. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13093. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.