CBS – Copenhagen Business School
English version 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: www.deutschland-in-daten.de, 16.01.2017 < http://www.deutschland-in-daten.de/en/companies-industry-and-crafts-and-trades >.
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In 2010, more than 25 million people were employed in industry, trade, or private services in Germany. They worked for almost 2.1 million private companies.1 When we think of companies we usually have large employment intensive firms in mind. These firms are at the center of media attention and political decision-makers. They are recorded in the statistical yearbook in the category of ‘large enterprises’ (enterprises with at least 250 employees and with an annual turnover of more than 50 million Euros). In 2010, almost 40 percent of the workforce was employed by such companies and generated two thirds of the aggregated turnover of the German economy (EUR 5.3 billion). However, in 2010, less than 1 percent of all companies were in this category, while micro or small enterprises with less than ten or less than 50 employees made up for 96 percent of the companies.2
The Statistical Yearbook presents such data as “facts”. But a closer look into the statistics provides a contradictory picture. For the same year of 2010, the ‘company register’, which documents firms with taxable turnover 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 employees instead of 25 million.3 The differences cannot be explained by also including health and social services alone, since the company register gives a much higher number for almost all sectors of the economy.
But what is the “correct” number? No one will possibly be able to answer this question pricesely; it depends on what we define as a ‘company’ and on the aims of the respective survey. The interpretation problems multiply concerning long-term developments. Companies and their diverse economic activities change so fundamentally over the years that previous statistical categories describing them no longer apply or become insignificant. In addition to that, new classifications are introduced making comparisons with past data rather difficult. At the same time, economic policy goals and the “facts” that official statisticians are interested in change. Keep in mind that statistics are mainly used to inform public administrations and policy-makers.
Companies are a huge challenge for statistics. First of all, there is a large number of 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 besides producing commercial products or services and offering them at markets. How should statistics structure its observations? What information should be collected? Companies want to survive economically and generate profits; 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, vehicle construction was added to it, while ‘Electrotechnical Industry, Precision Mechanics and Optics’ became its own group. ‘Industry of Machinery, Instruments and Apparatuses’ now described a completely different industry group. Similar changes took place in many groups. For example, 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 ‘firms’. After World War II, only factories and companies with ‘as a rule’ 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 intransparent distinction between the firm and the plant.
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 cannot be removed from their respective context in order to argue for example: ‘In 2010, there were 1,722 energy supply companies.’ The figure of 1,722 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 article deals firstly with the type of company, in particular with the joint-stock company (Aktiengesellschaft) and limited liability companies (GmbH). Subsequently, the long-term developments in manufacturing are outlined and the changes in the craft sector are displayed. 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 to private companies. However, the GDR is taken into account regarding statistics of industrial goods and craft trades.
Companies exist in different legal forms. The vast majority are one-person companies or companies under civil law, in which a few natural persons are grouped together. But only joint-stock companies (and cooperatives 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 Usually are these companies larger and play, therefore, a more important role in the economy. If the investments or the risk is too high for a single individual, several people (shareholders) join up to create a joint-stock company. In addition, the liability of shareholders is limited in proportion to the shares they own or to the share acquisition costs. Corporations are also theoretically ‘immortal’; neither the leave 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 spread slowly into 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. However, the total number reached only a few hundred companies. Founding a corporation in the German states was dependent 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. 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 was also no requirement regarding the public reporting of financial data. In a short time thousands of new limited liability companies were founded. 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. This allows for an overview of the existing companies for approximately 90 years until their recording was discontinued by the Federal Statistical Office in 1994. From then on only Deutsches Aktieninstitut provides data on joint-stock 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 that made past financial losses visible. Numerous mergers reduced the number of independent corporations further.
Even in this historical heyday, 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 inferior compared to major shareholders and banks (because of depository voting right); in addition, the bankcruptcy law favored the creditors against capital owners. Thus, the stock market remained relatively small compared to the US or UK, and companies tended to take out loans and to issue bonds rather than 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 tells 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. Therefore, the presented data has limited significance, but it corresponds largely 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 documented before World War I varied between 6 and 7 percent. Yet, the inter-war period was less profitable to shareholders. In the early years of the Federal Republic of Germany, the companies restrained payments of dividends. Instead profits were reinvested to a large extend. At the same time trade unions hold back their claims on wage increases. In the early 1960s, dividends again reached the level of the German Empire. Since then the distributions fluctuate substantially; in the 1970s they were even below the inflation rate.
The Federal Republic of Germany did not experience a new movement into joint stock companies, but more and more companies chose the legal form of the limited liability company (GmbH) and particularly the GmbH & Co. KG (a partnership with a GmbH as the liable partner). Many firms in trade and services, as well as family businesses, use the latter form that until January 2000 did not require the publication of financial statements and annual reports. Equity based finance options were 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 might have also not been very interesting to possible investors.
Due to increasing globalization and the 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 tax statistics (VAT) supply Data, which makes it possible to identify different company types. It shows a significant smaller number of corporations, but confirms the outlined trend. Natural persons and individual enterprises still account for the largest share of the taxables (2.2 million persons in 2012). However, since German reunification, 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 (which is paid by the customers of the companies); joint-stock companies are only contributing by less than 18 percent. Since 1994, there is no information on equity capital or dividends distributed in the statistics. However, dividends play an increasingly minor role for the decision to buy shares. Today the expectation of an increased company value and thus the profit that can be achieved when selling a share (shareholder value) is much more important to the shareholder.
With the implementation of industrial production methods the quantity of industrial goods multiplied. At first this affected mainly industrial intermediates like pig iron and steel; 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 came along with an increased demand for machinery and industrial equipment and a rapidly increasing demand 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 the coal mining industry. In the years before World War I it was a key industry that provided a crucial raw material and the energy source for 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 tons of hard coal annually produced is 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.
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 almost continuously.9 At first, it served mainly 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 shocks 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 previous periods: Until the early 1960s, hard coal as well as iron and steel were two reliable indicators of economic development. Both production sectors clearly show the economic downturn of World War I and the Great Depression in Germany (1929-1932); they show also that substantial coal deposits and iron production sites were lost as a result of the defeat in 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 consumption. Nevertheless, 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 in 2008; from 2007 to 2009 production fell by more than 30 percent.
The production of beer, one of the most important mass consumer goods in Europe, represents rather well until the 1980s the general development of disposable incomes and living standards. Of course, changes in the size of the states and in population size must be considered. The significance of the indicator decreased since the late 1990s due to changing consumer needs.
Unlike production data, company and company-related data provide limited information about general trends. They have to be interpreted more carefully, as the base of the surveys changed significantly over time. In addition to that, the statistics do not distinguish between industrial plants and firms on the one hand and larger craft companies on the other hand (that are regulated differently, see below). Companies, meaning legal independent firms, were only documented since the 1960s. Until then only the number of plants and workplaces, were shown and fact that many firms own several plants was ignored.
Until World War I, during the Weimar Republic, after the Great Depression (1929-1932), and during the 1950s and 1960s the manufacturing industry grew in terms of number of employees, production output and sales (data are available since 1950). The revenue figures for the Federal Republic of Germany show the strong growth of manufacturing continued until the 1970s, but the slow change towards a service economy is already visible. The industrial growth rates declined since the 1970s and exports became increasingly important. Domestic demand regained its importance only for a short period of time due the German unification, since then and above all the export economy has grown.
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 master 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 enabled every citizen of the German states to set up a business without having to prove any special qualifications. Furthermore, every independent trader got the right to train apprentices. Thereby, the master craftsmens’ privileges were eliminated. However, they continuously protested 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 lobbied successfully. 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. On a destrict level, elected Chambers of Craft were installed to represent the interests of craftsmen.
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 from now on not longer sufficient to train apprentices; since then a master’s letter issued by a Chamber of Crafts was the basic requirement to provide apprenticeship. The same amandment of the trade law builds the foundation for the German system of dual vocational training. In addition to the apprenticeship in the firm the apprentice has to attend a vocational school for two or three years.
The reasons for the re-institutionalization of the master craftsmen system were, in part, the successful lobby 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 at first in the mid-1930s, after ‘craft and trades’ had been more precisely defined. 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 master’s examination and the registration of craftsmen at 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 types of crafts until the beginning of the 21st century. In 2004, the Bundestag decided to lift the qualification certificate for 53 crafts and to allow free access to the respective trades.10
In the GDR, the sector of crafts and trades was one of the very few 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. Many craft workshops, particularly in ‘machinery and vehicle construction’, woodworking and construction, entered production cooperatives. This form of organisation has been introduced in 1952. Due to the safer and partly more profitable job situation of industrial employment compared to an existence as a self-employed craftsmen 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).
Today the German Craftsmen’s Association (Deutscher Handerwerkskammertag) frames crafts and trades as ‘the economic power of our neighboorhood’11.Nevertheless, since the introduction of the freedom of trade and the beginning of industrialization, the imminent decline of the craft has always been bemoaned. Even though the statistical recording of the craft trades might be insufficient, it provides little indication 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 percent since 1991, the employment rate in crafts and trades is remarkably stable. It should be recalled that the data for the manufacturing industry includes larger craft firms and that the data therefore still underestimate the decline in employment in industrial firms.
Processes of structural change affected different types of crafts differently.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 more recent data is no longer comparable with the former except for 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 percent of the firms (in particular tailors and shoemakers). The same applies for food and wood crafts, which both lost almost 60 percent. 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.
Until today, the number of employees in the health care sector is growing, while the food industry 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. The more important factors seem to be the European Single Market and activities of foreign companies in Germany. Also, the consequences of the financial crisis play an important role.
On the data used
The overview 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, because the Federal Statistical Office resigned from publishing the corresponding data any further or in any other form. Corporations are today only documented 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 mentioned 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 otherwise 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. Therefore the online documentation of the data should be taken into account in case of further use. For example, up to 1977 only data for companies with more than 10 employees were collected in the Statistical Yerbook. From 1978 onwards the selection criteria were changed to companies with more than 20 employees. Other restrictions relate to the respective origin and the purpose of the statistical surveys. 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 the VAT statistics. Such problems cannot be solved here but should be mentioned. 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, statistics does not have the purpose of helping understand long-term change. However, official statistics, and especially politics, should have an interest in future research projects aiming for a better understanding of structural change of the economy and the many changes on micro levels. Yet, a harmonization of the data will require a huge amount of detail work for an extended period of time, possibly even access to the original data, and differentiated estimates of the impact of altered statistical surveys.
- 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.
- 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.
- Statistical Yearbook 2013. Produzierendes Gewerbe und Dienstleistungen im Überblick, p. 504.
- DESTATIS Genesis-Online Database Table 52111*, https://www-genesis.destatis.de/genesis/online/ download 16.10.2014.
- See Statistical Yearbook 2012, p. 504 und DESTATIS Genesis-Online Datenbank Tabelle 52111*(2010, WZ08-D), https://www-genesis.destatis.de/genesis/online/ Download 16.10.2014.
- 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).
- 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.
- Leslie Hannah: A Global Census of Corporations in 1910, CIRJE Discussion Papers F-878, 2013.
- Mark Spoerer, Von Scheingewinnen zum Rüstungsboom: Die Eigenkapitalrentabilität der deutschen Industrieaktiengesellschaften 1925-1941, Stuttgart 1996.
- 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.
- The exercise of an unauthorized craft must be indicated only against the authorized Chamber of Crafts.
- Die „Wirtschaftsmacht von nebenan“, http://www.handwerk.de (Access: 5.11.2014).