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Abstract

Underappreciated in its importance and often-misunderstood in its implications, the choice between a company limited by shares and a company organized as a mutual is an important decision in sectors ranging from agriculture to banking to insurance. Adding gravity to this particular decision is the difficulty and enormous cost of corporate metamorphosis between company types later in the company’s life. The authors examine the history of the mutual form, its popularity’s rise and fall during the twentieth century, and its advantages and disadvantages in today’s environment.

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