Those Japanese Firms with Their Disdain for Shareholders: Another Fable for the Academy

Washington University Law Quarterly, Vol. 74, Issue 2 (1996).

Posted: 19 May 1998

See all articles by Steven N. Kaplan

Steven N. Kaplan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

J. Mark Ramseyer

Harvard Law School

Abstract

From time to time, observers argue that important facets of corporate governance are explicable only in path-dependent terms. Some buttress this claim with comparisons between U.S. and Japanese patterns of corporate governance. Using data that Kaplan has discussed in other contexts, we dispute the empirical foundation of this path-dependence claim. In fact, we find that U.S. and Japanese governance patterns are remarkably similar. We suggest that this similarity may imply that competitive product, capital and labor markets largely vitiate historically based idiosyncracies in governance.

JEL Classification: G34

Suggested Citation

Kaplan, Steven Neil and Ramseyer, J. Mark, Those Japanese Firms with Their Disdain for Shareholders: Another Fable for the Academy. Washington University Law Quarterly, Vol. 74, Issue 2 (1996).. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=10088

Steven Neil Kaplan (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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J. Mark Ramseyer

Harvard Law School ( email )

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