We analyze the development and performance of the British equity market during the era when it reigned supreme as the largest in the world. Using an extensive monthly dataset of thousands of companies, we identify the major peaks and troughs in the market and find a relationship with the timing of economic cycles. We also show that the equity risk premium was modest and, contrary to previous research, domestic and foreign stocks earned similar returns for much of the period. We also document the early dominance of the transport and finance sectors and the subsequent emergence of many new industries.
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)