The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Tehreem Husain

Foreign Investment and Infrastructure Financing: The Case of Railways During the First Era of Globalisation

School Research Theme: Economics and financing of the built environment
Research supervisors: Dr D’Maris Coffman, Dr Ali Coşkun Tunçer, Dr Judy Stephenson
Start date:  September 2017

By 1913, securities issued by railway companies and governments attracted 67 percent of the British capital outflows (Goetzmann and Ukhov, 2005). Railways were quasi-sovereign in character, having shades of both public and private ownership and management. Similarly, railway securities had both corporate and government characteristics. Investment in railway securities listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) presented a ‘lucrative’ asset class offering corporate yields in excess of sovereign yields. The above listed features of railway securities project them either closely resembling or being superior to the government securities. From both the investors’ and the issuers’ perspective, this raises questions as to the relationship between the two competing avenues of investment. My thesis is aimed at exploring the underlying relationship between railway and government securities. I do so by jointly analysing the determinants and common factors between the two, exploring the short and long run relationship between yield spreads on railway and governments and lastly investigating the behaviour of the securities under different local and global events. I build a dataset comprising of 15 advanced and emerging economies during 1880-1913 and use a variety of different data sources to cover the macroeconomic, financial and industry-specific characteristics during that time.

Publications and other work
  • Book edited: Husain, T. & Coffman, D. (2021). Public Borrowing, Routledge (forthcoming)


  • Articles for the Express Tribune:


  • Articles for the Property Chronicle: