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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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

Keywords: Large shareholders, ownership concentration, property rights

JEL Classification: G30, G32, K00

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Date posted: March 21, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Holderness, Clifford G., A Contrarian View of Ownership Concentration in the United States and Around the World. AFA 2006 Boston Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=686175 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.686175

Contact Information

Clifford G. Holderness (Contact Author)
Boston College - Department of Finance ( email )
Carroll School of Management
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3808
United States
617-552-2768 (Phone)
617-277-8071 (Fax)
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