Is Berle and Means Really a Myth?
32 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 20, 2009
Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means famously declared in 1932 that a separation of ownership and control was a hallmark of large U.S. corporations, and their characterization of matters quickly became received wisdom. A series of recent papers has called the Berle-Means orthodoxy into question. This survey of the relevant historical literature acknowledges that the pattern of ownership and control in U.S. public companies is not monolithic. Nevertheless, a separation between ownership and control remains an appropriate reference point for analysis of U.S. corporate governance.
Keywords: Adolf Berle, Gardiner Means, coporate governance, ownership and control
JEL Classification: G3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation