NICEP Seminar: Eugenia Nazrullaeva (LSE)

A39 Sir Clive Granger Building
Thursday 12th October 2023 (15:00-16:00)

Title: Discrimination, market entry barriers, and corporations in Imperial Russia.


We study discriminatory policies of the tsarist government against Jewish entrepreneurs. No general incorporation law existed in Imperial Russia. Every single corporate charter had to be approved by the Ministry of Finance and signed by the tsar. In the late 19th century (from 1890), the tsarist government started to include discriminatory clauses in some corporate charters that banned Jewish entrepreneurs from share ownership and/or purchasing property. What are the causes and consequences of discrimination in the short and long run? Using newly digitized data on the universe of Russian manufacturing factories in 1890, we find higher incidence of discriminatory clauses in corporate charters issued between 1891 and 1913 in more capital-intensive industries with fewer Jewish incumbents. To evaluate economic implications of discriminatory policies, we assemble a novel dataset from corporations’ balance sheets in 1886–1894. We find that corporations with discriminatory clauses in their charters—where Jewish entrepreneurs were prohibited from being shareholders—were more likely to issue debt than equity. What was the effect of discriminatory barriers on potential market entrants? To address this question, we define counterfactual entrepreneurs as the universe of factory owners in 1890. We test whether barriers for Jewish entrepreneurs led to the incorporation of relatively less productive non-Jewish entrepreneurs. To predict entrepreneurs’ ethnicity, we combine information on ethnicity from one million individual records from the World War I casualties and the merchant guild records. Finally, we show that discriminatory policies had broader economic implications including for the corporations without restrictions in their charters: corporations with Jewish founders that publicly traded on the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange in 1865–1913 had lower stock returns post-1890.

This is an in-person event. 

Host:  Valeria Rueda





School of Economics

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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