Independent Women: Investing in British Railways, 1870-1922

Graeme G. Acheson, Gareth Campbell, Aine Gallagher*, John D. Turner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


The early twentieth century saw the British capital market reach a state of maturity before any of its global counterparts. This coincided with more women participating directly in the stock market. In this paper, we analyse whether these female shareholders chose to invest independently of men. Using a novel dataset of almost 500,000 shareholders in some of the largest British railways, we find that women were much more likely to be solo shareholders than men. There is also evidence that they prioritised their independence above other considerations such as where they invested or how diversified they could be.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-495
Number of pages25
JournalEconomic History Review
Issue number2
Early online date15 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Economics and Econometrics
  • History


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