a1 Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Wellesley College, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481.
a2 Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
a3 Business Analyst, McKinsey & Company, 150 West Jefferson, Suite 1600, Detroit, MI 48226-4449.
Using newly collected data, this article compares the wealth and status of New York City households who owned corporate stock to the general population both in 1791, when there were only two corporations in the state, and in 1826, when there were hundreds. The results indicate that although corporate stock was held principally by the city's elite merchants in both periods, share ownership became more widespread over time among less affluent households. In particular, later corporations were owned and managed by investors who were less wealthy than the stockholders of corporations created in earlier, less democratic periods.
We are grateful to Lee Alston, Naomi Lamoreaux, John Majewski, Robert Wright, David Weiman, two anonymous referees, and participants at the Economic History seminar at Harvard University, the New York City Economic History session at the 2011 Eastern Economic Association conference, and the Cliometrics Society conference for helpful comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are our own.