Shareholder Protection: A Leximetric Approach
Ashurst LLP; University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR)
Mathias M. Siems
Durham University - Durham Law School; University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research
University of Cambridge, CBR Working Paper No 324
In this paper we build a new and meaningful shareholder protection index for five countries and code the development of the law for over three decades. Attributing and comparing legal differences by numbers is contrary to the traditional way of doing comparative law and the use of a quantitative methodology to account for variations across legal systems has been subjected to some searching criticisms. However, we believe that with a cautious approach, it has the potential to open new vistas of research in the area of comparative law and as such should not be shunned. This paper provides an illustration of the interesting possibilities that diligent quantification of legal rules (leximetrics) provides for comparing variations across time series and across legal systems. For instance, our leximetric study finds, that in all of our panel countries shareholder protection has been improving in the last three decades; that the protection of minority against majority shareholders is considerably stronger in blockholder countries and that convergence in shareholder protection is taking place since 1993 and is increasing since 2001. Finally, our examination of the legal differences between the five countries does not confirm the distinction between common law and civil law countries.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Shareholder protection, leximetrics, numerical comparative law, law and finance, La Porta et al., LLSV, coding, comparative company law, comparative corporate law, comparative corporate governance, legal origins, legal development, convergence
JEL Classification: G0, G30, K0, K22, N20, N40, P50Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 21, 2006 ; Last revised: April 13, 2008
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