Is Berle and Means Really a Myth?

32 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2009

See all articles by Brian R. Cheffins

Brian R. Cheffins

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Steven A. Bank

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 20, 2009

Abstract

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

Cheffins, Brian R. and Bank, Steven A., Is Berle and Means Really a Myth? (October 20, 2009). Business History Review, Vol. 83, No. 3, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1491702

Brian R. Cheffins (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
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+44 1223 330084 (Phone)
+44 1223 330055 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
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Belgium

Steven A. Bank

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-794-7601 (Phone)

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