Companies, Industry, and ‘Crafts and Trades’

Alfred Reckendrees
CBS – Copenhagen Business School

English translation of: Alfred Reckendrees, Unternehmen, Industrie und Handwerk, in: Thomas Rahlf (Ed.), Deutschland in Daten. Zeitreihen zur Historischen Statistik, Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 2015, pp. 250-265.

Alfred Reckendrees, Companies, Industry, and ‘Crafts and Trades’, in:, 16.01.2017 < >.

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All figures and tables were taken from the German book edition. The Data from all tables including the English translations of all column titles can be downloaded at A list of all english series names is also available in the documentation, pages 1931-1988.


In 2010, more than 25 million people in Germany were employed in industry, trade, or private services.They worked for almost 2.1 million private companies.1 We usually have large firms in mind where many people are working and who are at the center of media attention and political decision-makers. These are recorded in the statistical yearbook in the category of ‘large enterprises’ (enterprises with 250 or more employees and with an annual turnover of more than 50 million euros). In 2010, almost 40 per cent of the workforce worked in such companies and generated two thirds of the total turnover of the German economy (EUR 5.3 billion). However, in 2010, less than 1 per cent of all companies belonged to this category, while micro or small enterprises with less than ten or less than 50 employees made up for 96 per cent of the companies.2
The Statistical Yearbook presents such data as “facts”. But a deeper look into the statistics provides a contradictory picture. For the same year of 2010, the ‘company register’, which records firms with taxable sales and the number of employees subject to mandatory social insurance, shows 3.6 million firms instead of the above-mentioned 2.1 million and 29.6 million employeesinstead of 25 million.3 The differences are not to be explained alone by also including health and social services, since the company register give much higher numbers for almost all sectors of the economy.
But what is the “correct” number? No one will possibly be able to answer this question exactly; it depends on what we regard as a ‘company’ and on the aims of the respective survey. The interpretative problems multiply if one is interested in long-term development. Companies and their diverse economic activities change so fundamentally over the years that previous statistical categories no longer apply or become insignificant. Then new classifications are constructed making comparisons with past data rather difficult. At the same time, economic policy goals and the “facts” that are interesting to official statistics are changing. Keep in mind that it is mainly used to inform public administrations and policy-makers.
Companies are a huge challenge for statistics. First of all, there are many individual cases and a very heterogeneous unit of investigation, ranging from self-employed shoemaker to a multinational corporation. They often have very little in common except producing commercial products or services and offering them to the markets. How should statistics structure its observations? What information should be collected? Companies want to survive economically and generate profits; and they are not necessarily interested in providing comprehensive information about themselves. The Statistic Yearbook structures its observations by business or economic groups, by size classes or with regard to certain company forms. However, many categories lose their meaning in the course of time. At the end of the nineteenth century, for example, there was a category of ‘Industry of Machinery, Instruments and Apparatuses’. After World War I, it was supplemented by vehicle construction, while ‘Electrotechnical Industry, Precision Mechanics and Optics’ became a special group. ‘Industry of Machinery, Instruments and Apparatuses’ now meant a completely different group of trades. Similar changes took place in many groups. For exmple, electricians were temporarily assigned to the ‘metal-processing industry’ and later (predominantly) to the construction industry. Comparable problems arise with regard to the size of the companies and plants. Until World War I, ‘factories and similar works’ were counted. In the inter-war period works with ‘usually’ five or more employees were listed as medium or large ‘companies’. After World War II, only works and companies with ‘generally’ ten or more employees show separately. Since 1978, this group has been reduced to works and companies with ‘as a rule’ 20 or more employees. The most crucial problem is, however, the inrtransparent distinction between the firm and the plant.

Table 1: Companies and employees according to the industry and workplace census or the company register

Table 1: Companies and employees according to the industry and workplace census or the company register

A concise presentation of the long-term development in three such diverse areas ‘companies’, ‘industry’, and ‘craft and trades’ requires such a “disclaimer”. The data can not be removed from their respective context in order to argue, for example: ‘In 2010, there were 1,722 energy supply companies.’ This figure appears in the overview ‘Produzierendes Gewerbe und Dienstleistungen. Strukturdaten der Unternehmen 2010’ (‘Manufacturing and Services. Structural data of companies in 2010’), but the company register sows for the same year 38,825 firms for energy supply.4
This contribution deals first with the company forms, in particular with the joint-stock company (Aktiengesellschaft) and limited liability companies (GmbH). Subsequently, the long-term developments in manufacturing are sketched out and finally the changes in the craft sector. The GDR is very difficult to include in a survey of companies, industry and crafts. Central planning and administration dominated the economy and the most important economic forms of organization were ‘Volksseigene Betriebe’ (state-owned companies, euphemistically called people-owned) and production cooperatives, which can hardly be compared with private companies. The GDR is, however, taken into account in industrial goods and craft trades.


Companies have a variety of (legal) forms, most of which are one-person companies or companies of civil law, in which a few natural persons are grouped together. But only joint-stock companies (and co-operatives in the inter-war period) found greater attention in statistics, as it is easier to collect data on joint-stock companies and limited liability companies (GmbH),5 which usually are larger companies and play, therefore, a more important role in the economy. In the case of joint-stock companies, several owners (shareholders) are joining if necessary investments are too high for individuals or if individual persons do not want to bear the risk associated with such investments alone. In addition, the liability of the parties to the share capital and the acquisition cost of the shares are limited. Corporations are also theoretically ‘immortal’; neither the departure nor the death of a shareholder concerns such a company legally, since shares can be inherited or sold. In addition, the owners do not have to participate in the business, but they can commission employees with the management.
The institution of the corporation came slowly in Germany during the 19th century. Initially only joint-stock companies were founded (although in much smaller numbers than in England or the USA); particularly insurance companies, railways or shipping companies were interested in limiting liability. Prussia experienced a first ‘founding wave’ of joint-stock companies in coalmining and in the iron and steel industry in the middle of the nineteenth century, but the total number reached only a few hundred companies. Founding a corporation in the German states depended on a government license or a concession (in Prussia of the king); and for quite some time, the reservations against joint-stock companies were rather strong, since they would jeopardize the original industry and stimulate the ‘speculation spirit’.
In a sense, this skepticism was justified, because after the concession had been abolished in 1870, euphoria prevailed on the stock exchanges, and 928 joint-stock companies were founded in only three years.6 Soon the stock bubble burst, followed by the so-called ‘Gründerkrise’. Based on this experience, stock corporation law was amended; among other things, higher capital contributions by the founders should prevent highly speculative foundations. In 1892, the founding of limited liability companies (Gesellschaft mit begrenzter Haftung, GmbH) was legally permitted in which, as in the case of the joint-stock companies, liability was limited to the amount of capital participation. The shares in a limited liability company could not be traded on the stock exchange, but there were also no requirements regarding the reporting of financial data. In a short time thousands of new limited liability companies were founded, so that in 1913 the number of new limited liability companies exceeded the number of new joint-stock companies by almost five times.
German statistics took only account of joint-stock companies since 1906 and limited liability companies since 1909. It not only reported on the number of new companies, but also on business closure, and therefore allows for an overview of the existing companies for approximately 90 years until their recording was discontinued in 1994. Since then, only the Deutsches Aktieninstitut, but not the official statistics reports on the German joint-stock companies.

Table 2: Joint-stock companies and limited liability companies

Table 2: Joint-stock companies and limited liability companies

Corporations experienced a new upswing in the early years of the Weimar Republic. Inflation also contributed to this, as the share was a real asset, while money quickly lost value as a result of the appreciation of the mark. But many of the new companies soon collapsed, this time because of the stabilization of the currency. Numerous mergers further reduced the number of indipendent corporations.
Even in this high phase, the number of joint-stock companies in Germany was still low compared to other countries.7 There is no consensus about the reasons. Many authors are of the opinion that corporate law negatively impacted the rights of smallholders; the number of shareholders in Germany would have been low because the nominal value of one share in the Kaiserreich was at least 1 000 Marks; minority rights of small shareholders were not sufficient against major shareholders and banks (because of depository voting right); in addition, the bankruptcy law favored the creditors against capital owners. Thus, the stock market remained relatively small compared to the US or UK, and companies tended to borrow more than to issue stocks. An equally important factor was the large number of family businesses and the possibility of limiting liability by establishing a GmbH. In any case, National Socialism had a very negative impact on corporations, not only because of the losses of war. In only six years between 1933 and 1939, 43 per cent of the joint-stock companies and the limited liability companies were dissolved or converted back into private partnerships. This was also due to the restriction of the profit distribution of a stock company to 4 percent dividends.
Unfortunately, the statistic says little about the income and profit distributions of the corporations. The share of the evaluated balance sheets fluctuated from year to year and was between 22 percent in 1929 and 88 percent in 1908. In the Federal Republic of Germany 40 to 65 percent of the balance sheets were assessed. However, it was not always the same companies. The presented data therefore has limited significance, but it largely corresponds to historical economic research on the dividend yield of joint-stock companies.8 In terms of equity (the company’s basic capital plus reserves), the average dividend recorded before World War I varied between 6 and 7 percent. Yet, the inter-war period was less friendly to shareholders. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the companies initially distributed limited dividends, profits were instead reinvested to a high degree; at the same time trade unions were holding back with wage claims. In the early 1960s, dividends again reached the level of the imperial empire. Since then the distributions fluctuate considerably; in the 1970s they were even below the inflation rate.

Table 3: Balance sheets of joint-stock companies

Table 3: Balance sheets of joint-stock companies

The Federal Republic of Germany did not experience a new stock wave, but more and more companies chose the legal form of the limited liability compnay (GmbH) or the GmbH & Co. KG (a partnership with a GmbH as the liable partner). Particularly firms in trade and services, as well as family businesses, use these forms that do not require the publication of financial statements and annual reports. Funding via the stock market was not necessary for most companies during this period, as banks willingly provided long-term loans, which is also reflected in the shrinking equity ratio of joint-stock companies since 1949. However, the distribution of profits was probably also not very interesting to possible investors.

Fig. 1: Equity ratio and dividends of joint-stock companies

Fig. 1: Equity ratio and dividends of joint-stock companies

Against the backdrop of globalization and shareholder value orientation, the stock market plays, however, a major role since the late 20th century. Unfortunately, the Federal Statistical Office fundamentally revised its reporting on corporations in the early 1990s. Now only the VAT statistics supplies Data, which makes it possible to identify different company forms. It shows a significantly smaller number of corporations, but confirms the outlined trend. Natural persons and individual enterprises still account for the largest share of the taxable persons (2.2 million persons in 2012). However, since German unification, the number of joint-stock companies almost quadrupled, while the number of GmbH & Co. KGs doubled. The statistic also shows that companies that do not need to publish financial statements and annual reports are more important for the German economic performance than listed joint-stock companies. Limited liability companies and limited partnerships together account for 60 percent of sales tax (that is paid by the customers of the companies); joint-stock companies are only contributing with just under 18 percent. Information on equity capital or dividends distributed does not show in the statistics since 1994. However, dividends play an increasingly minor role for the decision to buy shares. Today the expectation of a rising company value and thus the proceeds that can be achieved when selling a share (shareholder value) is much more important tot he shareholder.


With the implementation of industrial production methods the quantity of industrial goods multiplied. At first this concerned mainly industrial intermediates like pig iron and steel; yet, at the end of the 19th century, industrial production of consumer goods (such as clothing, groceries, household goods, furniture) was becoming increasingly important. This development was accompanied by an increased demand for machinery and industrial equipment and a rapidly increasing request for energy. Since the 1860s ‘new industries’ have emerged, such as the electrotechnical industry or the chemical industry. Other German industries, such as the automotive industry, needed much longer to develop.
German industry experienced dramatic processes of structural change in which the importance of individual industries increased or decreased. Hardly any industry illustrates this process as well as coal mining, which in the years before World War I was a key industry that provided a crucial raw material and the energy source of high industrialization. In the long term, brown coal overtook hard coal as the most important source of energy. This process began in the 1930s and continued after World War II, especially in the GDR, which was forced to build its domestic energy resource of brown coal, in order not to be dependent on imported energy. In the Federal Republic, hard coal has been in crisis since the late 1950s. Although 10 million tonnes of hard coal annually produced are still a huge quantity, and although the mining industry is more productive than ever before, today’s output is barely greater than it was 160 years ago, when coal mining on industrial scale just began.

Fig. 2: Coal production - in million tons

Fig. 2: Coal production – in million tons

Fig. 3: Automobile production - in 1 000 pieces

Fig. 3: Automobile production – in 1 000 pieces

Fig. 4: Pig iron and crude steel - in million tons

Fig. 4: Pig iron and crude steel – in million tons

Another face of structural change in industry is illustrated by the example of the automotive industry. It reached a special economic importance only after World War II, approximately at the time when the coal mining industry fell into crisis. The Opel (General Motors) plant in Bochum, which was closed down in December 2014, was constructed precisely for this reason. Since then German car production has risen relatively continuously.9 At first, it mainly served the domestic market, but as early as the beginning of the 1960s the annual production output grew beyond the capacity of the German market. Since then, the automotive industry made a significant contribution to the German export surplus. The productive performance of central sectors of an economy, such as the automotive industry in the German case, usually also indicates the major changes in the business cycles. The production curve for passenger cars, for example, indicates the economic crisis of 1966/67, the two oil price hikes of 1973/74 and 1979/81 as well as the slow adjustment to the conditions of the European single market (1992/95) and the slump in sales during the financial crisis of 2008/09. The automotive industry of the GDR does not provide such an indicator of economic development. On the one hand, it provided only a small fraction of the industrial output compared to the Federal Republic; only during the first oil price crisis in 1973/74 it reached 5 per cent of the West German automobile production. On the other hand, it is unsuitable as an economic indicator, because demand in the GDR did steadily exceed production substantially, purchasers, for example, had to wait for an ordered car for many years.
In the present, consumer goods production provides a better picture of economic development than industrial raw materials. This was different in earlier times: Until the beginning of the 1960s, hard coal and iron and steel were two reliable indicators of economic development. Both production lines clearly show the economic slumps of World War I and the Great Depression in Germany (1929-1932); they show also that substantial coal deposits and sites of iron production were lost as a result of World War I. In West Germany, the cyclical fluctuations of iron and steel production of about three to five years result mainly from industrial investment cycles rather than from final demand. At the same time, the two time series of pig iron and crude steel production show very clearly that the global economy almost collapsed as a result of the financial crisis when production fell by more than 30 percent from 2007 to 2009.
The production of beer, one of the most important mass consumer goods in Europe, represents rather well into the 1980s the general development of disposable incomes and living standards. Of course, changes in the size of the state and in population size must be considered. Since the end of the 1990s, the significance of the indicator decreased as a result of changing consumer needs.

Fig. 5: Produktion of beer - in 1 000 hectolitres

Fig. 5: Produktion of beer – in 1 000 hectolitres

Unlike production data, company and company-related data provide limited information on general trends. They have to be interpreted more cautiously, as the survey bases, as indicated above, changed significantly over time. In addition, the statistics does not sufficiently distinguish between industrial plants and firms on the one hand and larger craft companies that are regulated differently (see below). Companies, ie legally independent units, were only shown since the 1960s, until then the statistic was satisfied with the number of plants or workplaces, but many firms own several plants.
Until World War I, during the Weimar Republic, after the Great Depression (1929-1932) and during the 1950s and 1960s, the manufacturing sector grew in terms of number of employees, production output and sales (data are available since 1950). The sales figures for the Federal Republic show that the strong growth of manufacturing continued well into the 1970s. But the change towards the service society became already apparent. The industrial growth rates declined since the 1970s and exports became increasingly important. Only briefly, as a result of German unification, did the domestic demand regain its importance. Since then, the export economy has grown.

Tab. 5: Mining and manufacturing - enterprises, employment and turnover

Tab. 5: Mining and manufacturing – enterprises, employment and turnover

Fig. 6: Production industry

Fig. 6: Production industry

Crafts and trades

With the implementation of freedom of crafts and trades in Prussia in 1810 and later in other German states, the guilds and craftsmen lost their privileged positions. Master craftsmen continued to educate apprentices, and there were still wandering journeymen, but due to freedom of crafts and trades registering a craft shop or carrying on a trade did no longer require a master’s letter and the formal approval of a guild. In 1869, the Trade Law for the North German Confederation finally enabled every citizen of the German states to set up a business without having to prove any special qualifications, and every independent tradesman got the right to train apprentices. This eliminated the privileges of the master craftsmen. They did not, however, abandon their protest against the liberal regulations. The ‘Gründerkrise’ (1873/74) and the following price deflation helped them to join forces and to found the General German Craftsmen Asscociation (‘Allgemeiner Deutscher Handwerkerbund’) in 1882. In the following years the craftsmen were lobbying very successful. In an amendment of the trade law of 1897, they were allowed to establish professional associations to articulate their common economic interests, to agree on standards, and to carry out official qualification assessments of journeymen and master craftsmen. Chambers of Crafts were to represent the interests of craftsmen on a district level. In 1908 the so-called ‘small qualification certificate’ was introduced. The ownership of a craft firm or the position as a master in a factory was now no longer sufficient to train apprentices; since then the basic requirement was a master’s letter issued by a Chamber of Crafts. The same amandment of the trade law laid the foundation for the German system of dual vocational training, which in addition to the apprenticeship in the firm requests two or three years of public school education.
The reasons for the re-institutionalization of the master craftsmen were, in part, the successful political work of the craftmen’s associations and Chambers of Crafts, but above all the political and economic elites, who were afraid of the growing labour movement and of Socialism, supported the promotion of the ‘Mittelstand’ as a political reinsurance. The official statistics, however, did not yet report separately on crafts and trades. This began only in the mid-1930s, after ‘craft and trades’ had been more precisely defined, when, in the new craft law (‘Handwerkerordnung’) of 1935; the National Socialist Government had introduced the so-called ‘great qualification certificate’. Ownership and management of a craft firm and the training of apprentices now required a successful master’s examination and an entry into the craftsmen’s roll of the respective Chamber of Commerce. In addition, craftsmen businesses were required to keep records.
Despite changes in the sector of crafts and trades, these rules existed for a total of 94 crafts until the beginning of the 21st century, when in 2004, the Bundestag decided to abolish the qualification certificate for 53 crafts and to make these trades unrestricted.10

Table 6: Craft sector - companies, employees and turnover by craft trades

Table 6: Craft sector – companies, employees and turnover by craft trades

In the GDR, the sector of crafts and trades was one of the few areas where capital could be privately owned. However, the craft workshops were involved in central planning and management and therefore had little scope for decision making. In addition, production cooperatives have been set up since 1952. Many craft workshops, particularly in ‘machinery and vehicle construction’, woodworking and construction, entered these cooperatives. Because industrial employment promised a safer and partly more profitable existence than that of a self-employed craftsman (disregarding the large black market segment), and also because many workers migrated to the Federal Republic, the number of employees in crafts and trades in the GDR declined dramatically since the second half of the 1950s (from 858,000 in 1955 until 580,000 in 1961).

Table 7: GDR: Professionals by industry and mode of operation and craft structure

Table 7: GDR: Professionals by industry and mode of operation and craft structure

Fig. 7: Persons employed in craft businesses of GDR - in 1 000

Fig. 7: Persons employed in craft businesses of GDR – in 1 000

Even though today the German Craftsmen’s Association (Deutscher Handerwerkskammertag) presents crafts and trades as the economic power of our neighboorhood11, since the introduction of the freedom of trade and the beginning of industrialization, the imminent decline of the craft has always been bemoaned. Yet however insufficient the statistical recording of the craft trades might be, it gives little reason for a pessimistic view.

Although the number of craft firms declined significantly not only in the GDR but also in the Federal Republic up to the end of the 1970s, the situation stabilized thereafter. Both the number of firms and the number of employees remained relatively stable. Over the past 15 years, crafts and trades also lost employees, but compared to manufacturing, where the number of employees declined by almost 40 per cent since 1991, the employment rate in crafts and trades is remarkably stable. It should be recalled that the data for the manufacturing sector includes larger craft firms and that the data therefore still underestimate the decline in employment in industrial firms.
The various crafts were very different from processes of structural change. A long-term trend can hardly be determined, since after the last Handwerkszählung of 1995 (for the old Federal territory) the selection criteria were radically changed and younger data are no longer comparable with the former except for the food trade. Already in the previous Federal Republic the different branches were affected very differently from structural change. While the number of craft firms in metalworking rose, the clothing, textiles and leather crafts lost more than 90 per cent of the firms (in particular tailors and shoemakers), while the food and the wood crafts each lost almost 60 per cent. At the same time, the total number of employees has increased by more than two-thirds, but not in clothing, textiles and leather, where it has declined by over 80 per cent.
To date, the number of employees in the health care sector is growing, while the food industry, for example, remains remarkably stable. Since German unification, particularly construction lost employees. In 2010, the figure was 540,000 lower than in 1995. This can be explained partly by technology, yet, the European single market and activities of foreign companies in Germany as well as the consequences of the financial crisis also play an important role.

On the data used

The survey presented here is based on an evaluation of the Statistical Yearbooks of the German Reich, the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany as well as some special publications by these authorities. In addition, various research reports (for example on social policy in the GDR and on the conversion of crafts statistics) and time series for industrial production (mainly mining and montanatistics) have been added which are accessible at GESIS.12 These data were supplemented by industry publications and data from interest groups such as the German Steel Association or the Deutsches Aktieninstitut, if the Federal Statistical Office did not publish the corresponding data any further or in any other form. For example, corporations are today only shown in the VAT statistics, which however lists very few companies.
Due to frequently changed survey criteria many desirable time series can not be created. For example, the classification of individual industries and trades into a particulary category was continually changed, some examples of which are presented in the text. The selection presented in this text covers important areas for which it is possible to create relatively long time series. In many cases, however, the use of the data will require recourse to the original data, if these were available and accessible. This applies, for example, to the indices of industrial net production, which could not be linked due to changes in the weightings of the respective economic sectors.
Yet also the presented time series are not always as unambiguous as they may appear, the online documentation of the data should be taken into account in the case of further use. For example, up to 1977 only data for companies with more than 10 employees were collected in the Statistical Yerbook, but from 1978 onwards the selection criteria was changed to companies with more than 20 employees. Another restriction relates to the respective origin and purpose of the survey. For example, the data on the number of enterprises and their employees in the Statistical Yearbook are not consistent with the data provided by the Federal Statistical Office in the Register of Companies or in VAT statistics. Such problems can only be menitioned here. They result from the fact that official statistics is interested in the present and provides snapshots for a point in time or for the most recent past. Unfortunately, it does not have the purpose of helping understand long-term change. However, official statistics, and especially politcs, should have an own interest in future research projects aiming at a better understanding of structural change of the economy and also the many changes in the small. However, a harmonization of the data will require a huge amount of detailed work for an extended period of time, possibly even access to the original data, and differentiated estimates of the impact of altered statistical surveys.

Reading suggestions

  • Carsten Burhop: Wirtschaftsgeschichte des Kaiserreichs 1871 – 1918, Göttingen 2011.
  • André Steiner: Von Plan zu Plan. Eine Wirtschaftsgeschichte der DDR, Bonn 2007.
  • Werner Abelshauser: Deutsche Wirtschaftsgeschichte. Von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart, Bonn 2012.
  • Alfred Reckendrees: Zur Funktion der Aktiengesellschaften in der frühen Industrialisierung, in: Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte, 2 (2012), S. 137 – 174.
  • Mark Spoerer: Von Scheingewinnen zum Rüstungsboom: Die Eigenkapitalrentabilität der deutschen Industrieaktiengesellschaften 1925 – 1941, Stuttgart 1996.
  • Ralf Ahrens / Boris Gehlen / Alfred Reckendrees (Hrsg.): Die „Deutschland AG’. Historische Annäherungen an den bundesdeutschen Kapitalismus, Essen 2013.
  • Ulrich Engelhard (Hrsg.): Handwerker in der Industrialisierung. Lage, Kultur und Politik vom späten 18. bis ins frühe 20. Jahrhundert (Industrielle Welt, Bd. 37), Stuttgart 1984.
  • Bernd Holtwick: Im Kampf um das Handwerk. Handwerke und ihre Organisationen in Ostwestfalen-Lippe von 1929 bis 1953, Paderborn 2000.
  • Armin Oszwar: Ein Arrangement auf Widerruf: Die SED und die Privathandwerkerschaft in der SBZ / DDR, in: Thomas Großbölting / Rüdiger Schmidt (Hrsg.): Unternehmerwirtschaft zwischen Markt und Lenkung: Organisationsformen, politischer Einfluß und ökonomisches Verhalten 1930 – 1960, München 2002, S. 171 – 198.
  • Christoph Boyer / Thomas Schlemmer: „Handwerkerland Bayern’? Entwicklung, Organisation und Politik des bayrischen Handwerks 1945 bis 1975, in: Thomas Schlemmer / Hans Voller (Hrsg.): Bayern im Bund: Gesellschaft im Wandel, 1949 bis 1973, München 2002, S. 87 – 178.


  1. Statistisches Bundesamt (ed.): Statistisches Jahrbuch. Deutschland und Internationales 2012, Wiesbaden 2012, S. 503-504 (in the following: Statistical Yearbook). This does not include employees in the health care system (appr. 1.1 million) and the approx. 151,000 practices of physicians and therapists, as well as a few smaller service areas, p. 619.
  2. Statistical Yearbook 2013. Produzierendes Gewerbe und Dienstleistungen im Überblick, p. 504.
  3. DESTATIS Genesis-Online Database Table 52111*, download 16.10.2014.
  4. See Statistical Yearbook 2012, p. 504 und DESTATIS Genesis-Online Datenbank Tabelle 52111*(2010, WZ08-D), Download 16.10.2014.
  5. There are a few other forms of the company, such as partnerships with a limited liability (GmbH) as the liable partner (GmbH & Co. KG) or other combinations of partnerships and corporations (KGaA).
  6. Up to 1910, there were 6,524 new AGs, cf. Jacob Riesser: Jacob Riesser: Die deutschen Großbanken und ihre Konzentration im Zusammenhang mit der Entwicklung der Gesamtwirtschaft in Deutschland, Glashütten 41912, p. 109.
  7. Leslie Hannah: A Global Census of Corporations in 1910, CIRJE Discussion Papers F-878, 2013.
  8. Mark Spoerer, Von Scheingewinnen zum Rüstungsboom: Die Eigenkapitalrentabilität der deutschen Industrieaktiengesellschaften 1925-1941, Stuttgart 1996.
  9. The production of the German automobile concerns has risen much more, with the production of VW and its subsidiaries in 2014 alone being around 160% of cars produced in Germany.
  10. The exercise of an unauthorized craft must be indicated only against the authorized Chamber of Crafts.
  11. Die „Wirtschaftsmacht von nebenan“, (Access: 5.11.2014).