Citations (1)


Footnotes (239)



The Essential Unity of Shareholders and the Myth of Investor Short-Termism

George W. Dent Jr.

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Delaware Journal of Corporate Law (DJCL), Vol. 35, No. 1, 2010
Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-11

The separation of ownership and control publicized by Berle and Means in 1932 persists today. Domination of public companies by self-serving and ineffective executives costs America billions of dollars every year and contributed to the current economic meltdown. Repeated efforts to solve this problem – including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, expanded disclosure duties, and more stringent requirements for director independence – have had little benefit and have sometimes made matters worse. The flaws in our corporate governance system are a growing problem for America's economy as disillusioned investors increasingly place their capital in other countries. Nonetheless, proposals for greater shareholder power have encountered criticisms: various shareholders have conflicting goals; shareholders favor a short-term perspective at the expense of the long-term health of companies; and shareholders lack the knowledge needed to play a positive leading role in corporate governance. This article refutes these charges. It shows that the objections to shareholder power are greatly exaggerated, often contradict elementary economic principles, and have no empirical basis; they are myths. The article delves into the latest research in financial economics to demonstrate that greater shareholder power is associated with better corporate performance in all respects, including those respects in which critics charge that shareholder influence would be detrimental.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 55

Keywords: Delaware, Journal, Corporate, Law, Berle, Means, Berle and Means, shareholder, power, goal, Sarbanes-Oxley

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: February 25, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Dent, George W., The Essential Unity of Shareholders and the Myth of Investor Short-Termism. Delaware Journal of Corporate Law (DJCL), Vol. 35, No. 1, 2010; Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-11. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1557356

Contact Information

George W. Dent Jr. (Contact Author)
Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )
11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3311 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,241
Downloads: 606
Download Rank: 22,549
Citations:  1
Footnotes:  239

© 2016 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollobot1 in 0.250 seconds