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The Limited Partnership in New York, 1822–1858: Partnerships Without Kinship

Eric Hilt and Katharine O'Banion

The Journal of Economic History, 2009, vol. 69, issue 3, 615-645

Abstract: In 1822 New York became the first of many common law states to authorize the formation of limited partnerships. Little is known about the effects of these statutes. This article analyzes the use of the limited partnership in nineteenth-century New York City. We find that the form was adopted by a surprising number of firms, and that limited partnerships had more capital, failed at lower rates, and had fewer members with kinship ties, compared to ordinary partnerships. The results suggest that the introduction of the limited partnership facilitated investments that would not have occurred in the absence of the form.

Date: 2009
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