Proposal preview

Enterprise Forms in Late-Industrializing Countries

A firm’s legal form of organization determines who controls the firm, who owns the firm’s revenue, and how the firm may finance operations and expansion. The forms of enterprise available to firms and how the law operates in practice therefore have important consequences for the overall economy. While an active literature on historical enterprise forms has developed to document these mechanisms, nearly all of this work has focused on the experience of Western Europe and the United States (See, for example, Guinnane et al 2007). This session corrects this empirical imbalance by bringing together scholars whose works explore the evolution of business organization in a diverse setting of late-industrializing economies such as Spain, Russia, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt. The panel will focus on the interaction between the legal structure of the firm and the broader institutional complex in which firms operate. We will explore adoption of corporate governance rules in different legal rules under different regimes (Colonial Egypt and Imperial Russia), how enforcement of property rights and informational frictions affected the popularity of limited liability partnerships in early-modern Italy, the messy transplantation of enterprise forms and legal rules in the Ottoman Empire and later Turkey, and how courts interpreted codes regulating enterprise forms in Spain.


  • Amanda Gregg, Middlebury College,, United States
  • Cihan Artunc, University of Arizona,, United States

Session members

  • Amanda Gregg, Middlebury College,
  • Seven Agir, Middle East Technical University,
  • Susana Martinez Rodriguez, University of Murcia,
  • Cihan Artunc, University of Arizona,
  • Francesca Trivellato, Yale University,

Proposed discussant(s)

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