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The Performance of European Business in the Twentieth Century$
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Youssef Cassis, Andrea Colli, and Harm Schröter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749776.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 August 2019

The Performance of European Enterprise during the Twentieth Century

The Performance of European Enterprise during the Twentieth Century

General Overview

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 The Performance of European Enterprise during the Twentieth Century
Source:
The Performance of European Business in the Twentieth Century
Author(s):

Youssef Cassis

Andrea Colli

Harm G. Schröter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749776.003.0001

This chapter provides an introduction to and summary of the first attempt at measuring European business performance over the entire twentieth century on a common basis of data. In doing so, it adopts a new approach to European business history. Based on a single sample of 1,225 companies, from eight European economies (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, and Finland), it describes the basic questions dealt with by the various authors of this book in their chapters. Performance has been measured in terms of return on equity (ROE) and holding return (HR), thus providing a complementary measure of profitability, the former from the firm’s perspective, the latter from the investor’s perspective. The findings are summarized and compared. The results are sometimes surprising, at once confirming and challenging widely held assumptions regarding business performance—regarding strategy and structure, ownership and control, old and new industries, and emerging and advanced economies.

Keywords:   Europe, comparison, business history, big business, performance, return on equity (ROE), holding return (HR)

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