NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Sébastien Pouget

Toulouse School of Economics
University of Toulouse
21 Allée de Brienne
31000 Toulouse
France
Tel: 33 671 955 126

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2015The Development of Corporate Governance in Toulouse: 1372-1946
with David Le Bris, William N. Goetzmann: w21335
We document a sequence of institutional innovations associated with the corporate form over the course of several centuries in Toulouse. Shareholding companies that began in the 11th century formally incorporated themselves into two large-scale, widely held firms by 1373. In the years that followed they experienced the economic challenges and conflicts we now recognize as inherent in the separation of ownership and control. Using new and existing archival research, we show how the Toulouse firms developed institutional solutions including tradable shares, limited liability, governing boards, cash payout policies, external audits, shareholder meetings and mechanisms for re-capitalization. We examine these developments in the context of institutional economic theory and the receiv...
June 2014Testing Asset Pricing Theory on Six Hundred Years of Stock Returns: Prices and Dividends for the Bazacle Company from 1372 to 1946
with David le Bris, William N. Goetzmann: w20199
We use the Bazacle company of Toulouse's unique historical experience as a laboratory to test asset pricing theory. The Bazacle company is the earliest documented shareholding corporation. Founded in 1372 and nationalized in 1946, it was a grain milling firm for most of its 600 year history. We collect share prices and dividends over its entire lifespan. The average dividend yield in real terms was slightly in excess of is 5% per annum, while the long-term price growth was near zero. The company's unique full-payout dividend policy allows us to estimate an asset pricing model with fundamentally persistent dividends and a time-varying risk correction. The model is not rejected by the data. Variations in expected future dividends are found to explain between one-sixth and one-third of vari...
 
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