The Globalization of Corporate Law: The End of History or a Never-Ending Story?
48 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2012
Date Written: April 15, 2011
Considerable scholarship during the last few decades addresses the question of whether corporate laws are becoming global by converging on commonly accepted approaches. Some scholars have asserted that such convergence is occurring around the most efficient laws and institutions thereby marking the “End of History” for corporate law. This paper responds to such assertions by developing three claims not previously given due attention in the convergence literature. First, it demonstrates that the history of corporations and corporate law has been one of seemingly constant movement toward global convergence; yet, the resulting convergence is always incomplete or transitory. Next, it points out that there are other forces besides efficiency which produce convergence. This means that convergence often occurs around corporate laws and institutions which have no particular efficiency or other normative advantage or that necessarily represent stable equilibrium points. Finally, the paper asks what are the important corporate laws and institutions by which to measure the extent of convergence at any one time. It develops the answer that a stable convergence is least likely for the most important corporate law issues, which are characterized by tensions between competing policies and no easy solutions for the problems presented.
Keywords: Corporate Governance, Convergence
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