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Death on the stock exchange: the fate of the 1948 population of large UK quoted companies, 1948-2018

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Peer-reviewed

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Article

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Authors

Meeks, G 
Whittington, G 

Abstract

This paper provides a long-term demographic analysis of the principal members of the population of companies quoted on the UK stock exchanges in 1948. Motivated by theories of natural selection and of corporate governance, it traces the survival records of the 1948 population over the biblical “threescore years and ten” to 2018. Of the population of 1513 companies in 1948, only 19 survived for the full seventy years. The survival rate, as captured by the half-life of companies in the population, is remarkably stable over the period. As well as charting death rates over time, the paper explores the causes of death – takeover, failure, etc. Also it analyses the relationship between survival and the characteristics of the firm and its environment.

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Journal Title

Business History

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0007-6791
1743-7938

Volume Title

Publisher

Routledge

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All rights reserved