Shareholder Initiative: A Social Choice and Game Theoretic Approach to Corporate Law
42 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2008
By longstanding practice, shareholders of large public corporations have delegated almost all decision rights over business matters to the board of directors. Given current calls for shareholder empowerment, it is worth revisiting the basis for the existing practice, as reflected in this 1991 paper. Among other things, we see that this absolute delegation rule minimizes potential pathologies in shareholder voting, including possibilities for opportunistic side-dealings and destructive voting cycles. These risks must be addressed lest shareholder empowerment merely replace one set of problems with another.
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