Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The emergence of the joint-stock companies in the Dutch Republic and their democratic elements in business

Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros and Kyriazis, Nicholas (2019): The emergence of the joint-stock companies in the Dutch Republic and their democratic elements in business.

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Abstract

In the present essay we analyse the emergence of joint-stock companies during the 16th and 17th centuries in business (the Dutch partenrederij), and the VOC East India Companies). We suggest that in the Dutch Republic (DR) characterised by relative weak central authority, market solutions were found to solve organisation problems and these solutions, the first joint-stock companies, are efficient but also democratic in their structure. The DR demonstrate that democratic elements emerge in parallel in the economy (sometimes even preceding) and in the political field, which can be mutually reinforcing.

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