Before the cult of equity: the British stock market, 1829–1929

Gareth Campbell, Richard S Grossman, John D Turner

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-679
Number of pages35
JournalEuropean Review of Economic History
Issue number4
Early online date24 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 02 Nov 2021


  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • History


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