Federalism and Corporate Law: The Race to Protect Managers from Takeovers

Posted: 26 May 2000

See all articles by Lucian A. Bebchuk

Lucian A. Bebchuk

Harvard Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Allen Ferrell

Harvard Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: May 1999

Abstract

This paper analyzes certain important shortcomings of state competition in corporate law. In particular, we show that, with respect to takeovers, states have incentives to produce rules that excessively protect incumbent managers. The development of state takeover law, we argue, is consistent with our theory. States have adopted antitakeover statutes that have little policy basis, and, more importantly, they have provided managers with a wider and more open-ended latitude to engage in defensive tactics than endorsed even by the commentators most favorable to such tactics. Furthermore, states have elected, even though they could have done otherwise, to impose antitakeover protections on shareholders, who did not appear to favor them, in a way that left shareholders with little choice or say. Finally, we conclude by pointing out that proponents of state competition cannot reconcile their views with the evolution of state takeover law--and should, therefore, reconsider their unqualified support of state competition.

JEL Classification: G30, G34, G38, H70

Suggested Citation

Bebchuk, Lucian A. and Ferrell, Allen, Federalism and Corporate Law: The Race to Protect Managers from Takeovers (May 1999). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 257, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=197808

Lucian A. Bebchuk (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3138 (Phone)
617-812-0554 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/bebchuk/

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Allen Ferrell

Harvard Law School ( email )

Griswold 303 1525 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 495-8961 (Phone)
(617) 495-1110 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

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