This week Michael Aldous, Laurence Mussio and I launched the Long Run Initiative (LRI). We have set up the LRI as a forum for academic experts, business leaders and public policymakers. It provides insights from the analysis of long-run experiences and trends to provide context and deepen understanding of the grand challenges facing businesses and government. LRI analysis focuses on where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going. LRI is an initiative of the Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
You can read more about LRI at our website and follow our blog. You can also follow us on Twitter @longinitiative.
I'm interested in who invested in companies in the past. I've recently published a paper which looks at clientele effects in Victorian companies - who invested in what type of company and why. In a recent Queen's University Centre for Economic History working paper, I and three colleagues ask the question whether women shareholders in the age of the suffragettes were really making independent investment decisions. Using details on circa 500,000 railway shareholders, we produce the startling finding that women typically invested as solo investors whereas men typically invested together with other men. This implies that women were independent in the sense that they did not co-own shares along with men. Why did men typically co-own shares? We find evidence that men may have co-owned shares as a means of diversifying and a means of investing in non-local companies.
Another interesting finding is that the shareholder lists placed an asterisk beside shareholders who owned enoug…