Research Seminar: Corporate Ownership and Control in Victorian Britain

29 May ‘13
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1.30PM - 2.30PM
Speaker: Professor Graeme Acheson, Stirling Management School

Venue: Room 4B128, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling

Abstract: Using ownership and control data for 897 firm-years, this paper examines the concentration of capital and voting rights in British companies in the second half of the nineteenth century. Both capital and voting rights were diffuse by modern-day standards. This finding implies that ownership was separated from control in the UK much earlier than previously thought, and given that it occurred in an era with very weak shareholder protection law, it undermines the law and finance hypothesis. We also find that diffuse ownership is correlated with large boards, a London head office, non-linear voting rights, and shares traded on multiple markets.

After the seminar there will be time to discuss a potential centre for Economic / Business History. Given the interdisciplinary nature of this topic, a centre could bring together the growing number of faculty and graduate students working on the economic study of the past from across the university. The hope would be to create a centre which would support its members by coordinating research projects, providing a forum for interdisciplinary discussion, hosting research workshops with invited speakers, and providing graduate training to the next generation of economic / business historians.

RSVP: If you are interested in attending or can’t attend but want to discuss the development of this research area within the university please contact Professor Graeme Acheson email:

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