Rethinking 'One Share, One Vote'

Harvard Business Review, January 2013

Financial News, February 2013

Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 13-06

Posted: 4 Feb 2013 Last revised: 14 Sep 2020

Date Written: 2013


'One-share, one-vote,' a bedrock principle of Anglo-Saxon corporate governance, is back in the spotlight. Except this time, the aim is to diminish its application rather than to extend its global footprint.

Hoping to stem the tide of short-termism in the financial markets, prominent commentators have advocated bolstering the voting rights of long-term shareholders or, conversely, withholding them from short-term investors. Significantly, it was recently reported that the European Commission was preparing a proposal to give 'loyal' shareholders extra voting influence.

This commentary discusses the case for departing from the one-share, one-vote standard and the issues to consider to ensure that the intended benefits are realized without accompanying adverse or other unintended outcomes.

Keywords: corporate governance, shareholder rights, short-termism

JEL Classification: G10, G32, G34

Suggested Citation

Wong, Simon C. Y., Rethinking 'One Share, One Vote' (2013). Harvard Business Review, January 2013, Financial News, February 2013, Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 13-06, Available at SSRN:

Simon C. Y. Wong (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

London School of Economics

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom


Tapestry Networks ( email )

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Suite 225
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