Financing Nascent Industry: Leverage, Politics, and Performance in Imperial Russia
This paper explores the dynamics of corporate finance during the early stages of industrial growth by examining a newly constructed panel database of Imperial Russian industrial corporations’ balance sheets. We document large differences in financial strategies and outcomes across industries, over time, over firms’ life cycles, and between two Russian corporation types. Russian corporations’ profits and dividend payouts followed the Russian business cycle. Russian corporate debt ratios mostly follow modern capital structure theories, but tangible assets were not associated with higher debt levels, suggesting that Russian corporate debt was short-term, that collateral was irrelevant, or that agency problems dominated. We also find evidence that investors needed to be compensated for poor protections, since dividends were highly valued and widely-held corporations enjoyed greater returns.
Date: 21 January 2020, 17:00 (Tuesday, 1st week, Hilary 2020)
Venue: Nuffield College, New Road OX1 1NF
Venue Details: Large Lecture Room
Speaker: Amanda Gregg (Middlebury College)
Organising department: Department of Economics
Part of: Economic and Social History Seminar
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Melis Boya