The Trading of Unlimited Liability Bank Shares in Nineteenth Century Ireland: The Bagehot Hypothesis

John Turner, Charles Hickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the mid-1820s, banks became the first businesses in Great Britain and Ireland to be allowed to form freely on an unlimited liability joint-stock basis. Walter Bagehot warned that their shares would ultimately be owned by widows, orphans, and other impecunious individuals. Another hypothesis is that the governing bodies of these banks, constrained by special legal restrictions on share trading, acted effectively to prevent such shares being transferred to the less wealthy. We test both conjectures using the archives of an Irish joint-stock bank. The results do not support Bagehot's hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-958
Number of pages28
JournalThe Journal of Economic History
Volume63(4)
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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