University of Lethbridge
4401 University Drive
Canada T1K 3M4
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 2015||Business Groups in Canada: Their Rise and Fall, and Rise and Fall Again|
with Randall Morck: w21707
Family-controlled pyramidal business groups were important in Canada early in the 20th century, amid rapid catch-up industrialization, but largely gave way to widely held free-standing firms by mid- century. In the 1970s and early 1980s – an era of high inflation, financial reversal, unprecedented state intervention, and explicit emulation of continental European institutions – pyramidal groups abruptly regained prominence. The largest of these were politically well-connected and highly leveraged. The two largest collapsed in the early 1990s in a recession characterized by very high real interest rates. The smaller groups that survived were more vertically integrated and less diversified at the time. Widely held freestanding firms and Anglo-Saxon concepts of the role of the state soon rega...
|November 2005||The Rise and Fall of the Widely Held Firm: A History of Corporate Ownership in Canada |
with Randall Morck, Michael Percy, Bernard Yeung
in A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers, Randall K. Morck, editor
|July 2004||The Rise and Fall of the Widely Held Firm - A History of Corporate Ownership in Canada|
with Randall Morck, Michael Percy, Bernard Yeung: w10635
A panel of corporate ownership data, stretching back to 1902, shows that the Canadian corporate sector began the century with a predominance of large pyramidal corporate groups controlled by wealthy families or individuals. By mid-century, widely held firms predominated. But, from the 1970s on, pyramidal groups controlled by wealthy families and individuals resurge, restoring a situation similar to that a century earlier. Institutional factors underlying this resurgence are shown to have antecedents deep in the country's colonial past.