Democratic Dividends: Stockholding, Wealth, and Politics in New York, 1791â€“1826
Eric Hilt and
The Journal of Economic History, 2012, vol. 72, issue 2, 332-363
Using newly collected data, this article compares the wealth and status of New York City households who owned corporate stock to the general population both in 1791, when there were only two corporations in the state, and in 1826, when there were hundreds. The results indicate that although corporate stock was held principally by the city's elite merchants in both periods, share ownership became more widespread over time among less affluent households. In particular, later corporations were owned and managed by investors who were less wealthy than the stockholders of corporations created in earlier, less democratic periods.
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