Amanda Gregg (Middlebury College) - Financial Dynamics: Corporate Capital Structures and Payout Policies in Imperial Russia, 1900 -1914
Co-author: Steven Nafziger (Williams College)
This paper explores the dynamics of corporate finance during the early stages of industrial growth by examining a newly constructed panel database of Imperial Russian industrial corporations’ balance sheets. We document large differences in financial strategies and outcomes across industries, over time, over firms’ life cycles, and between two Russian corporation types. Russian corporations’ profits and dividend payouts followed the Russian business cycle. Panel regressions with firm fixed effects suggest that corporations financed property purchases and enhanced profits through equity and credit financing, though equity’s “effect” is stronger. Our results motivate a continued examination of historical Russian corporate governance, finance, and performance.