ESME (1886-1936)


Evolution on Business Organizations in Spain (1886-1936) [Evolución de las Sociedades Mercantiles en España (1886-1936): ESME (1886-1936)]

This project is funded by Fundación SENECA, (Project 15147/PHCS/10)This research studies the economic consequences of the law of business organizations over the period 1886-1936 in Spain. Our research addresses questions that have been at the center of recent debates, in legal, economic, and historical research, as well as in the policy arena: how to structure the internal governance and external regulation of the corporations so as to encourage investment and minimize abuse by insiders; how to promote the creation and growth of inovative small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and, more generally, how to extract lessons from the history. Our research challenges two assumptions that have characterized much of the current scholarship: (1) the general superiority of the corporation as a form of business organization; (2) the conventional division among civil vs. common law countries

The project attemps to follow the path set by the relevant work done for Guinnane, Harris, Lamoreaux and Rosenthal  (The economic consequences of organizational law)

Our research team members are:
Salvador Almenar Palau (University of Valencia)
Vicente Montojo-Montojo (Archivo General de la Región de Murcia)
Susana Martínez Rodríguez (University ofMurcia)

Outputs of this project:

RESEARCH PAPERS with Impact Factor

MARTÍNEZ-RODRÍGUEZ, S. (2016). «Creating the Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada: The Use of Legal Flexibility in the Spanish Company Law, 1869-1953». Business History Review [Published online: 22 January, 2016]  DOI:]

MARTÍNEZ-SOTO, A.P.; MARTÍNEZ-RODRÍGUEZ, S. (2015): «Graneries (pósitos): a source of finance for Spain´s small farmers, 1900-1950.» Continuity and Change. v. 30, n. 2,  251-277.

GUINNANE, T.; MARTÍNEZ-RODRÍGUEZ, S. (2014): «Flexibility in the Spanish Company Law, 1885-1936.» Revista de Historia Industrial, v. 56, 81-113.

MARTÍNEZ-SOTO, A.P.; MÉNDEZ, I.; MARTÍNEZ-RODRÍGUEZ, S.; (2012): “Spain´s Development of Rural Credit  Cooperatives from 1900 to 1936: the Role of Financial Resources and Formal Education.”European Review of Economic History. v. 16, 449-468.

GUINNANE, T.; MARTÍNEZ-RODRÍGUEZ, S. (2011): “Cooperatives before Cooperative Law:Business Law and Cooperatives in Spain, 1869-1931.” Revista de Historia Económica, v. 29
(1), 67-93.


VVAA. (2016). Murgetana. Sociedades Mercantiles en la Región de Murcia. Evolución, casos y fuentes. n. 134
PDF available here
Front page available here

Exhibition on the Evolution on Business Organizations in Spain. (2015-2016).
Catalogue available here: [Recommended citation:] 


Video with the main results of the project


Regional TV. CONEXION GTM. TV Interview at the program GTM. 07.03.2016

ABABOL. La Verdad. Press Report. 06.06.2015
PDF available here