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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1352605
 
 

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Is Berle and Means Really a Myth?


Brian R. Cheffins


University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Steven A. Bank


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

March 3, 2009

UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 09-05
ECGI - Law Working Paper No. 121/2009

Abstract:     
Berle and Means famously declared in 1932 that a separation of ownership and control was a hallmark of large U.S. corporations and their characterization of matters quickly became received wisdom. A series of recent papers (Hannah, 2007; Santos and Rumble, 2006, Holderness, forthcoming) has called the Berle-Means orthodoxy into question. This paper surveys the relevant historical literature on point, acknowledging in so doing that the pattern of ownership and control in U.S. public companies has been anything but monolithic but saying a separation between ownership and control remains an appropriate reference point for analysis of U.S. corporate governance.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 58

Keywords: Berle-Means, ownership, control of U.S. public companies

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Date posted: March 10, 2009 ; Last revised: October 19, 2010

Suggested Citation

Cheffins, Brian R. and Bank, Steven A., Is Berle and Means Really a Myth? (March 3, 2009). UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 09-05; ECGI - Law Working Paper No. 121/2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1352605 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1352605

Contact Information

Brian R. Cheffins
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )
10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom
+44 1223 330084 (Phone)
+44 1223 330055 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium
Steven A. Bank (Contact Author)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )
385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-794-7601 (Phone)
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