The Age Structure of the Corporate System

The Age Structure of the Corporate System

The Age Structure of the Corporate System

The Age Structure of the Corporate System

Excerpt

Two main purposes are intended to be served by publication of this book, which reports my first analysis of an entirely new body of facts concerning the age of corporations and certain characteristics related to age. One purpose is to present various findings which seem to be fairly dependable and to have large importance for an understanding of the corporate section of the private enterprise system and for the consideration of certain policies, not only private policies of corporations but also public policies toward corporations. I am aware that some of these findings may be debatable, and that other and more competent investigators may reach conclusions somewhat different from those reported here. One of my reasons for showing the details of the analytical steps more fully than one might expect in an ordinary research report is that the later work of other investigators may thereby be facilitated.

A second purpose is to awaken an interest in the vital statistics of corporations by showing how various significant inferences can be drawn from one limited body of such statistics. I hope that this book will lead to a more extensive compilation of corporate vital statistics, so that numerous important obstacles to analysis encountered in preparing the book will, in the course of time, be largely removed through the coming to hand of statistics more extensive in scope and more elaborate in detail. I hope also that methods of analysis described here will offer a stimulus to other investigators, so that later studies can derive from a growing body of factual information more significant inferences than I report in the following pages, and can also have the benefit of important improvements upon these methods. I do not regard this book as definitive, but rather as a pioneer work; and, with the accumulation of new and better data and with the more effective interpretation of those data through the efforts of scholars who find in these pages a challenge, the book may be expected soon to become obsolete. This result will convince me that the second purpose has been fully realized.

Preparation of the book has been forwarded by much able assistance made available to me. Mrs. Harriet Ross, of Wollaston, Massachusetts, handled much of the arithmetical work on the 1946 . . .

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