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The Role of Shareholders in the Modern American Corporation

RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS OF CORPORATE LAW, Claire Hill, Brett McDonnell, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011

35 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2011  

D. Gordon Smith

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School

Date Written: August 13, 2011

Abstract

This chapter from the forthcoming Research Handbook on the Economics of Corporate Law (Claire Hill & Brett McDonnell, eds.) examines the role of shareholders in the modern American public corporation. The chapter starts with the Berle and Means (1932) problem of the separation of ownership and control, but notes that the rise of institutional investors has changed the situation. Shareholders have three main sets of rights through which they can protect themselves: the right to vote, to sell, and to sue. Each of these rights has evolved significantly in recent years. The chapter describes some of the changes and debates, and also briefly addresses the question of the proper beneficiaries of corporate decisions.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Shareholders

JEL Classification: G32, G34, K22, L22

Suggested Citation

Smith, D. Gordon, The Role of Shareholders in the Modern American Corporation (August 13, 2011). RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS OF CORPORATE LAW, Claire Hill, Brett McDonnell, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1909227

D. Gordon Smith (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School ( email )

422 JRCB
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801.422.3233 (Phone)
801.422.0390 (Fax)

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