Mary O'Sullivan

Mary O'Sullivan
University of Geneva | UNIGE · Department of History, Economics and Society

PhD Business Economics

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60
Publications
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3,674
Citations

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
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Unprecedented liquidity injections by central bankers have gained legitimacy in recent years to stave off economic crisis and enjoy strong support from prominent economists and economic historians. Such radical action by central bankers is underpinned by a remarkable agreement on a specific interpretation of the Great Depression of the 1930s in the...
Preprint
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Construction and mobilisation of historical interpretations of the Great Depression
Preprint
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In the inaugural issue of Past and Present, Eric Hobsbawm emphasised the complexity of workers' and capitalists' attitudes to new machines. Moreover, noting that: "only rarely were new machines immediate and obvious paying propositions", he suggested the potential of a history of profit to understand the motivations for introducing machines and the...
Article
Full-text available
The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Capitalism - Volume 19 Issue 4 - MARY O’SULLIVAN
Book
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This book, Dividends of Development: Securities Markets in the History of US Capitalism, 1866–1922, explains how securities markets became central to the institutional fabric of US capitalism. After the Civil War, these markets had a narrowly circumscribed relationship to the country’s real economy, being largely dominated by railroad securities. M...
Chapter
Full-text available
Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, reopens fundamental questions about the role and rewards of capital that economists have never resolved. It does so by exploring the history of capital and derives much of its credibility from the evidence it marshals in defence of its claims. In this paper, I evaluate the basis for Pikett...
Article
The enthusiasm of British portfolio investors for US industry in the late 1880s has been seen as evidence of the liberalism of the London Stock Exchange and the conservatism of the New York Stock Exchange. Based on a study of Anglo-American brewing issues on the London market between 1888 and 1892, in this article it is argued that such an interpre...
Article
In this study of lending in the emergence of a modern steel industry in the United States, I analyze the evolving interaction between borrowers and lenders in historical context. I show how "relationship lending" (that is, credit allocation in which personal contacts play a major role) can go wrong, despite good intentions at the outset, and that i...
Article
Full-text available
There are already manifold interactions between business history and management studies but, to date, they have tended to be more particular and patchy than general and systematic. In this introduction we summarize the arguments that scholars from business history, management studies and social science have made for closer contact between these fie...
Article
Alfred Chandler wrote a great deal on finance capital in the development of big business. In making bold and provocative statements, he provided scholars with a variety of stimulating ideas. To a large extent, however, we still do not know whether Chandler’s assertions were correct. Ultimately, the value of revisiting Chandler’s research on finance...
Article
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We center this review article around six important books that represent recent thinking by political economists on global finance and discuss their substance, their implications, as well as some of their shortcomings, for our understanding of the subject. We organize our review around three major questions: First, who are the players in the politic...
Article
In response to a series of prominent corporate scandals around the turn of the millennium, a burst of regulation has led to an important increase in oversight of America's corporate economy. The various regulatory responses find intellectual support in different streams of academic research but, notwithstanding the vigour of the debate about what i...
Article
Innovation is an expensive process; significant resources must be expended to initiate, direct, and sustain it. It is a process that takes time which means that the resources that support it must be committed until the process is complete. According to this article, contemporary economists of innovation have largely neglected the relationship betwe...
Article
Based on an analysis of the leading trading markets for stock in the United States, I document the dramatic expansion that took place in the scale and scope of the country's stock market from the mid-1880s to the early 1930s. My analysis suggests that a broadbased stock market was a long way from being established even by the early teens. It took t...
Article
Full-text available
Based on an analysis of the leading trading markets for stock in the United States, I document the dramatic expansion that took place in the scale and scope of the country's stock market from the mid-1880s to the early 1930s. My analysis suggests that a broad-based stock market was a long way from being established even by the early teens. It took...
Article
Full-text available
For the purposes of understanding the causes and implications of the growth of financial markets around the world, I focus on a crucial aspect of the dramatic transformation of French capitalism over the last quarter of a century: the shift from a government-based financial system to a market-based one. I examine the causes and implications of the...
Article
Scholars have recommended taking a closer look at firms that raise funds from the financial system as a way of understanding the relation between finance and growth. This article explores the role of the U.S. financial system in providing funds to two prominent American firms, General Electric and Westinghouse Electric, over the course of the last...
Article
To understand the relationship between finance and growth, scholars have suggested a greater focus on the firms that raise funds from the financial system. In this article, I analyse the role of the US financial system in providing funds to two prominent firms in American business history, GE and Westinghouse, over the last century. The financial s...
Article
Full-text available
Corporate Responsibility (CR) is a hot topic - and a very controversial one. A 'corporate responsibility movement' has emerged over the past few years. It comprises of: NGO campaigns aiming to influence corporate behaviour by engaging their consumers, employees or investors; the genuine efforts by managers to reduce the negative societal impact and...
Article
Contemporary research on comparative corporate governance was initially preoccupied with the question of differences in national systems of corporate governance. In recent years, however, the focus has shifted to change as some scholars argue that there are growing pressures on national systems of corporate governance to converge on a model that su...
Article
During the last quarter of the 20th century, there was a major change in the scale and structure of financial systems in many national economies throughout the world. There were various dimensions to this process of transformation but one of its most striking characteristics was a dramatic upsurge in the importance of stock markets in different nat...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of the stock market on the innovative capabilities of high-technology companies that have been central to what in the last half of the 1990s came to be called the 'New Economy'. The empirical focus is on equipment suppliers in optical networking--an industry that integrates the bandwidth potential...
Book
During the 1990s, corporate governance became a hot issue in all of the advanced economies. For decades, major business corporations had reinvested earnings and developed long-term relations with their labour forces as they expanded the scale and scope of their operations. As a result, these corporations had made themselves central to resource allo...
Chapter
By many measures of economic performance, in the last half of the 1990s, the American economy looked like a winner. A high-technology revolution was in full swing, inflation was tamed, the stock market was booming, government budgets were under control, and the unemployment rate was the lowest for the nation since the beginning of the 1970s. In the...
Chapter
Corporate governance has, in recent years, become a highly charged political issue in Germany. As recently as the late 1980s confidence in the ability of the ‘Rhenish system of capitalism’ to deliver economic performance without sacrificing social cohesion was running at an all-time high. From the early 1990s, however, as Germany wrestled with the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Over the past two decades the ideology of shareholder value has become entrenched as a principle of corporate governance among companies based in the United States and Britain. Over the past two or three years, the rhetoric of shareholder value has become prominent in the corporate governance debates in European nations such as Germany, France and...
Article
If its prospects were doubted in the early 1990s, London is now the pre-eminent international financial centre. It dominates its European rivals, and is joined with New York in a non-stop reciprocal global embrace. Whereas some analysts approach this topic concentrating on the nature and quality of market relationships in London and between London...
Article
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There is growing interest in pressures on national systems of corporate governance to converge that are allegedly being generated by the process of globalization, especially the global integration of financial markets. Advocates of the merits of globalization contend that the trend will lead to a more efficient allocation of capital. Drawing on the...
Article
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The decade-long boom in the US stock market and the more recent boom in the US economy have fostered widespread belief in the economic benefits of the maximization of shareholder value as a principle of corporate governance. In this paper, we provide an historical analysis of the rise of shareholder value as a principle of corporate governance in t...
Article
On the basis of a review of the empirical evidence available on the behaviour and performance of Irish-based industry, I shall argue in this article that we are far from being able to understand the long term significance of the current boom. In part the problem is that the evidence available is ambiguous. The main issue, however, is a dearth of em...
Article
Full-text available
The centrality of corporate enterprises for allocating resources in the economy has sparked the recent debate among economists about the manner in which corporations should be governed to enhance economic performance. The process through which resources are developed and utilised is central to the dynamic through which successful enterprises and ec...
Article
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Of the world's multiple national variations on a basically capitalist system, the paper compares the century's history of four--the British and American, the two "pioneers" whose institutions and economic behaviour patterns most closely confirm to, and those of Germany and Japan whose institutions most significantly deviate from, the prescriptions...
Article
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If sustainable prosperity is the objective, proposals to reform the corporate governance system must be based on a theory of the innovative enterprise. Without such a theory, stakeholder arguments run the risk of encouraging other groups, besides stockholders, to become claimants to a given, and even diminishing pool of returns. To avoid such a pol...
Article
We introduce a new hybrid approach to joint estimation of Value at Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall (ES) for high quantiles of return distributions. We investigate the relative performance of VaR and ES models using daily returns for sixteen stock market indices (eight from developed and eight from emerging markets) prior to and during the 2008 fi...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce a new hybrid approach to joint estimation of Value at Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall (ES) for high quantiles of return distributions. We investigate the relative performance of VaR and ES models using daily returns for sixteen stock market indices (eight from developed and eight from emerging markets) prior to and during the 2008 fi...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past decades foreign enterprises have gained competitive advantage over U.S. industrial corporations not by paying lower wages than American companies pay, Lazonick and O'Sullivan argue, but by developing and utilizing broader and deeper skill bases than American companies do. Since the 1970s corporate America has become obsessed with shed...
Article
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A theory of competitive advantage requires a theory of the development and utilization of productive resources. The empirical foundations for such a theory are the comparative experiences of the most successful economies. This paper presents comparative and historical evidence on the development experiences of the USA, Germany, and Japan that demon...
Article
This paper, and the body of empirical research and theoretical formulation on which it is based, introduces national policy makers to a more rigorous and relevant approach to understanding the operation and performance of the economy. In sharp contrast to neoclassical theory, the theory of innovation and economic development that guides the analysi...
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Harvard University, 1996 Includes bibliographical references.
Article
This paper provides a general analysis, based on a synthesis of considerable empirical evidence, of the causes and consequences of differences in the process of skill formation in four wealthy nations -- Japan, United States, Germany, and Britain -- in the post-World War II decades. First, we provide a general perspective on the strategy and struct...
Article
There are already manifold interactions between business history and management studies but, to date, they have tended to be more particular and patchy than general and systematic. In this introduction we summarize the arguments that scholars from business history, management studies and social science have made for closer contact between these fie...
Article
Cet article étudie le développement des fonds de pension gérés par les em-ployeurs dans les décennies d'après-guerre aux États-Unis et apprécie le nouvel équilibre des risques et des avantages qu'impliquent les transformations importan-tes de ces systèmes de retraite dans les années quatre-vingt et 90. Les liens entre les évolutions des modes de fi...
Article
Corporate governance is concerned with the institutions that influence the ways in which business corporations allocate resources and returns. Our approach to the analysis of corporate governance and its policy implications focuses on its relation to the innovation process and the innovative economy. We identify four different types of corporate go...

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