The Mercantile Laws Commission of 1854 and the political economy of limited liability
UNSPECIFIED. (1997) The Mercantile Laws Commission of 1854 and the political economy of limited liability. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW, 50 (1). 37-&. ISSN 0013-0117Full text not available from this repository.
It is widely agreed that the coming of limited liability in the Joint-Stock Companies Act of 1855 marked a revolutionary change. However, this change is hard to explain because it appeared to serve no particular interest. This article supports the lone alternative view of Jeffreys that limited liability was introduced in the interests of wealthy potential investors. It argues that the commission's report presented parliament with competing analyses of limited liability from the perspectives of two very different theories of political economy: one which followed Adam Smith in arguing that unlimited liability was necessary to sustain a world fit for individual capitalists; and another which, anticipating Marx's critique of Adam Smith, argued for limited liability to create a world fit for social capital.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World
H Social Sciences
|Journal or Publication Title:||ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW|
|Publisher:||BLACKWELL PUBL LTD|
|Number of Pages:||21|
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