IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Common law and the origin of shareholder protection

Listed author(s):
  • Acheson, Graeme G.
  • Campbell, Gareth
  • Turner, John D.

This paper examines the origins of investor protection under the common law by analysing the development of shareholder protection in Victorian Britain, the home of the common law. In this era, very little was codified, with corporate law simply suggesting a default template of rules. Ultimately, the matter of protection was one for the corporation and its shareholders. Using c.500 articles of association and ownership records of publicly-traded Victorian corporations, we find that corporations afforded investors with just as much protection as is present in modern corporate law and that firms with better shareholder protection had more diffuse ownership.

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: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/145112/1/866101519.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) in its series eabh Papers with number 16-03.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:zbw:eabhps:1603
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Hanauer Landstrasse 126-128, 60314 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Phone: +4969-365084650
Web page: http://www.eabh.info/
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. Guinnane, Timothy & Harris, Ron & Lamoreaux, Naomi R. & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2007. "Putting the Corporation in its Place," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 687-729, September.
  2. Ulrike Malmendier, 2009. "Law and Finance "at the Origin"," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1076-1108, December.
  3. Michael Graff, 2008. "Law and Finance: Common Law and Civil Law Countries Compared-An Empirical Critique," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 60-83, 02.
  4. Aldo Musacchio, 2008. "Laws versus Contracts: Shareholder Protections and Ownership Concentration in Brazil, 1890–1950," Business History Review, Harvard Business School, vol. 82(3), pages 445-473, September.
  5. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
  6. Fabio Braggion & Lyndon Moore, 2011. "Dividend Policies in an Unregulated Market: The London Stock Exchange, 1895--1905," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(9), pages 2935-2973.
  7. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-488, June.
  8. Graeme G. Acheson & Gareth Campbell & John D. Turner & Nadia Vanteeva, 2015. "Corporate ownership and control in Victorian Britain," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(3), pages 911-936, 08.
  9. Fohlin, Caroline, 2007. "Does Civil Law Tradition and Universal Banking Crowd out Securities Markets? Pre-World War I Germany as Counter-Example," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 602-641, September.
  10. BenjaminR. Chabot & ChristopherJ. Kurz, 2010. "That's Where The Money Was: Foreign Bias and English Investment Abroad, 1866-1907," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 1056-1079, 09.
  11. 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.
  12. Cheffins, Brian R, 2001. "Does Law Matter? The Separation of Ownership and Control in the United Kingdom," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 459-484, Part I Ju.
  13. Mathias Siems & Priya Lele, 2006. "Shareholder Protection: A Leximetric Approach," Working Papers wp324, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  14. Musacchio,Aldo, 2015. "Experiments in Financial Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107514782, October.
  15. Brian R. Cheffins & Dmitri K. Koustas & David Chambers, 2013. "Ownership dispersion and the London Stock Exchange's 'two-thirds rule': an empirical test," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(4), pages 670-693, June.
  16. Benjamin Chabot & Christopher J. Kurz, 2009. "That's Where the Money Was: Foreign Bias and English Investment Abroad, 1866-1907," Working Papers 972, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  17. 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, 04.
  18. Julian Franks & Colin Mayer & Stefano Rossi, 2009. "Ownership: Evolution and Regulation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4009-4056, October.
  19. Mike Burkart & Denis Gromb & Holger M. Mueller & Fausto Panunzi, 2014. "Legal Investor Protection and Takeovers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(3), pages 1129-1165, 06.
  20. Acheson, Graeme G. & Hickson, Charles R. & Turner, John D. & Ye, Qing, 2009. "Rule Britannia! British Stock Market Returns, 1825-1870," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(04), pages 1107-1137, December.
  21. Agrawal, Ashwini K., 2013. "The impact of investor protection law on corporate policy and performance: evidence from the blue sky laws," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69607, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  22. Atanasov, Vladimir & Black, Bernard & Ciccotello, Conrad & Gyoshev, Stanley, 2010. "How does law affect finance? An examination of equity tunneling in Bulgaria," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 155-173, April.
  23. Mahoney, Paul G, 2001. "The Common Law and Economic Growth: Hayek Might Be Right," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 503-525, Part I Ju.
  24. Leslie Hannah, 2007. "The 'Divorce' of ownership from control from 1900 onwards: Re-calibrating imagined global trends," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(4), pages 404-438.
  25. William N. Goetzmann & Andrey D. Ukhov, 2006. "British Investment Overseas 1870-1913: A Modern Portfolio Theory Approach," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 10(2), pages 261-300.
  26. Leslie Hannah, 2007. "The Divorce of Ownership from Control from 1900: Re-calibrating Imagined Global Historical Trends," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-460, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  27. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "The great reversals: the politics of financial development in the twentieth century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-50, July.
  28. Demsetz, Harold & Villalonga, Belen, 2001. "Ownership structure and corporate performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 209-233, September.
  29. Watts, Ross L & Zimmerman, Jerold L, 1983. "Agency Problems, Auditing, and the Theory of the Firm: Some Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 613-633, October.
  30. Gareth Campbell & John D. Turner, 2011. "Substitutes for legal protection: corporate governance and dividends in Victorian Britain," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(2), pages 571-597, May.
  31. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Agrawal, Ashwini K., 2013. "The impact of investor protection law on corporate policy and performance: Evidence from the blue sky laws," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 417-435.
  33. Howard Bodenhorn, 2012. "Voting Rights, Share Concentration, and Leverage at Nineteenth-Century US Banks," NBER Working Papers 17808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Maury, Benjamin, 2006. "Family ownership and firm performance: Empirical evidence from Western European corporations," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 321-341, January.
  35. Naomi R. Lamoreaux, 2005. "Legal Regime and Contractual Flexibility: A Comparison of Business's Organizational Choices in France and the United States during the Era of Industrialization," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 28-61.
  36. Les Hannah & James Foreman-Peck, 2014. "Ownership dispersion and listing rules in companies large and small: A reply," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(3), pages 509-516, April.
  37. Acheson, Graeme G. & Turner, John D., 2008. "The death blow to unlimited liability in Victorian Britain: The City of Glasgow failure," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 235-253, July.
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:zbw:eabhps:1603. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

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.