Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2457706
 


 



Revisiting American Exceptionalism: Democracy and the Regulation of Corporate Governance in Nineteenth-Century Pennsylvania


Naomi R. Lamoreaux


Yale University; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

June 2014

NBER Working Paper No. w20231

Abstract:     
The legal rules governing businesses’ organizational choices have varied across nations along two main dimensions: the number of different forms that businesses can adopt; and the extent to which businesses have the contractual freedom to modify the available forms to suit their needs. Until the late twentieth century, businesses in the U.S. had a narrower range of forms from which to choose than their counterparts in these other countries and also much less ability to modify the basic forms contractually. This article uses the case of Pennsylvania to argue that the sources of this “American exceptionalism” reside in the interplay between the early achievement of universal (white) manhood suffrage and elite efforts to safeguard property rights.

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Number of Pages in PDF File: 70

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Date posted: June 23, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Lamoreaux, Naomi R., Revisiting American Exceptionalism: Democracy and the Regulation of Corporate Governance in Nineteenth-Century Pennsylvania (June 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20231. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2457706

Contact Information

Naomi R. Lamoreaux (Contact Author)
Yale University ( email )
27 Hillhouse
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
2034323625 (Phone)
2034323635 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.yale.edu/faculty1/lamoreaux.htm
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )
Box 951477
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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