Randall Morck and Gloria Y. Tian

in Business Groups in the West

Published in print February 2018 | ISBN: 9780198717973
Published online April 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191787591 | DOI:

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Family-controlled pyramidal business groups were important in Canada early in the twentieth century, amid rapid catch-up industrialization, but largely gave way to widely held freestanding firms by mid-century. In the 1970s and early 1980s—an era of high inflation, financial reversal, unprecedented state intervention, and explicit emulation of continental European institutions—pyramidal groups abruptly regained prominence. The largest of these were politically well-connected and highly leveraged. The two largest collapsed in the early 1990s in a recession characterized by very high real interest rates. The smaller groups that survived were more vertically integrated and less diversified at the time. Widely held freestanding firms and Anglo-Saxon concepts of the role of the state soon regained predominance.

Keywords: Canada; industrial policy; political rent; economic history; business groups; oligarchs; legal origin; family business; diffuse ownership; leverage

Chapter.  12350 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business History ; International Business

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