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Did the Cooperative Start Life as a Joint-Stock Company? Business Law and Cooperatives in Spain, 1869–1931

Timothy Guinnane and Susana Martinez-Rodriguez

No 2010_08, UHE Working papers from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica

Abstract: Studies of Spanish cooperatives date their spread from the Law on Agrarian Syndicates of 1906. But the first legislative appearance of cooperatives is an 1869 measure that permitted general incorporation for lending companies. The 1931 general law on cooperatives, which was the first act permitting the formation of cooperatives in any activity, reflects the gradual disappearance of the cooperative’s “business” characteristics. In this paper we trace the Spanish cooperative’s legal roots in business law and its connections to broader questions of the freedom of association, the formation of joint-stock enterprises, and the liability of investors in business and cooperative entities. Our account underscores the similarities of the organizational problems approach by cooperatives and business firms, while at the same time respecting the distinctive purposes cooperatives served.

Keywords: cooperative; general incorporation; business enterprise; freedom of association; freedom of contract (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K20 N23 N43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 pages
Date: 2010-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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Working Paper: Did the Cooperative Start Life as a Joint-Stock Company? Business Law and Cooperatives in Spain, 1869-1931 (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Did the Cooperative Start Life as a Joint-Stock Company? Business Law and Cooperatives in Spain, 1869-1931 (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Did the Cooperative Start Life as a Joint-Stock Company? Business Law and Cooperatives in Spain, 1869-1931 (2010) Downloads
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