Property rights and competing for the affections of Demos: The Impact of the 1867 Reform Act on stock prices

John D. Turner, Wenwen Zhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The 1867 Reform Act in Britain extended the electoral franchise to the skilled but propertyless urban working classes. Using stock market data and exploiting the fact that foreign and domestic equities traded simultaneously on the London market, this paper finds that investors in British firms reacted negatively to the passage of this Act. We suggest that this finding is consistent with investors foreseeing future alterations of property rights arising from the pressure that the large newly enfranchised group would bring to bear on government policy. We also suggest that our findings appear to be more consistent with the Tory political competition explanation for the Act rather than the Whig threat-of-revolution explanation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-631
Number of pages23
JournalPublic Choice
Volume150
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Sociology and Political Science

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