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A global corporate census: publicly traded and close companies in 1910

Hannah, Leslie ORCID: 0000-0003-0839-7412 (2015) A global corporate census: publicly traded and close companies in 1910. Economic History Review, 68 (2). pp. 548-573. ISSN 0013-0117

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ehr.12072


In 1910 the world had almost half a million corporations, only one-hundredth of today's total. About one-fifth—with over half of corporate capital—were publicly tradable, higher portions than today. Most publicly quoted corporations traded in Europe and the British Empire, but most close (private) corporations operated in the US, which, until the 1940s, had more corporations per capita than anywhere else. The 83 countries surveyed here differed markedly in company numbers, corporate capital/GDP ratios, and average corporate size. Enclave economies—dominated by quoted (and often foreign-owned) companies—had the largest average sizes, while other nations had more varied mixes of large quoted corporations and close company small and medium enterprises.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Economic History Society (Correction made to citation Jun 2022)
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2014 10:47
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 06:06

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