Who financed the expansion of the equity market? Shareholder clienteles in Victorian Britain

Graeme G. Acheson, Gareth Campbell, John D Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Who financed the great expansion of the Victorian equity market, and what attracted them to invest? Using data on 453 firm-years and over 172,000 shareholders, we find that the largest providers of capital were rentiers, men with no formal occupation who relied on investment income. We also see a substantial growth in women investors as time progressed. In terms of clientele effects, we find that rentiers invested in large firms, whilst businessmen were the venture capitalists of young, regional enterprises. Women and the middle classes preferred safe investments, whilst financiers and institutional investors were speculators in foreign companies. Our results may help to explain the growth of new types of assets catering for particular clienteles, and the development of managerial policies on dividends and share issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-637
Number of pages31
JournalBusiness History
Volume59
Issue number4
Early online date2 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • shareholders
  • equity
  • stock market
  • gentlemen capitalists
  • rentiers
  • gender

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