The Role of Shareholders in the Modern American Corporation
D. Gordon Smith
Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School
August 13, 2011
RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS OF CORPORATE LAW, Claire Hill, Brett McDonnell, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011
This chapter from the forthcoming Research Handbook on the Economics of Corporate Law (Claire Hill & Brett McDonnell, eds.) examines the role of shareholders in the modern American public corporation. The chapter starts with the Berle and Means (1932) problem of the separation of ownership and control, but notes that the rise of institutional investors has changed the situation. Shareholders have three main sets of rights through which they can protect themselves: the right to vote, to sell, and to sue. Each of these rights has evolved significantly in recent years. The chapter describes some of the changes and debates, and also briefly addresses the question of the proper beneficiaries of corporate decisions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Corporate Governance, Shareholders
JEL Classification: G32, G34, K22, L22
Date posted: August 14, 2011
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