A Contrarian View of Ownership Concentration in the United States and Around the World
Clifford G. Holderness
Boston College - Department of Finance
AFA 2006 Boston Meetings Paper
This paper offers evidence on the ownership concentration at a representative sample of U.S. firms. 96% of these firms have blockholders who in aggregate own 39% of the common stock. The ownership of U.S. firms is at least as concentrated, and by some measures more concentrated, than the ownership of firms in other countries. Such concentrated ownership is consistent with a fundamental property right of a market economy, which is that owners are active. These findings challenge current thinking on a number of issues.
Keywords: Large shareholders, ownership concentration, property rights
JEL Classification: G30, G32, K00working papers series
Date posted: March 21, 2005
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