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The Development of Corporate Governance in Toulouse 1372-1946

61 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2015 Last revised: 3 Mar 2016

David Le Bris

Toulouse Business School

William N. Goetzmann

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sebastien Pouget

Toulouse School of Economics

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Date Written: March 3, 2016

Abstract

We exploit unique archives extending over six centuries to trace the development of corporate governance mechanisms that emerged in response to problems inherent in organizing, capitalizing and sustaining large-scale business enterprises. Two Toulouse milling concerns with antecedents in the 11th century organized themselves via mergers into widely-held joint-stock companies in the years 1372 and 1373. We document the institutional innovations they developed over the ensuing centuries, and place these in the context of institutional economic theory. The firms adapted or invented institutional features that are widely recognizable today, including fully tradable shares, limited liability, shareholder meetings, governing boards, cash payout policies, accounting audits and mechanisms for re-capitalization.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Economic History

Suggested Citation

Le Bris, David and Goetzmann, William N. and Pouget, Sebastien, The Development of Corporate Governance in Toulouse 1372-1946 (March 3, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2631178 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2631178

David Le Bris (Contact Author)

Toulouse Business School ( email )

20, bd Lascrosses
Toulouse, 31068
France

William N. Goetzmann

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance ( email )

165 Whitney Ave.
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
203-432-5950 (Phone)
203-436-9252 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://viking.som.yale.edu

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sebastien Pouget

Toulouse School of Economics ( email )

21 allée de Brienne
31015 Toulouse Cedex 6
France

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