Innovation in Corporate Law

35 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2003

See all articles by Katharina Pistor

Katharina Pistor

Columbia University School of Law

Yoram Keinan

Ernst & Young

Jan Kleinheisterkamp

London School of Economics - Law School; Cornell University - Law School

Mark D. West

University of Michigan Law School


In most countries large business enterprises today are organized as corporations. The corporation with its key attributes of independent personality, limited liability and free tradeability of shares has played a key role in most developed market economies since the 19th century and has made major inroads in emerging markets. We suggest that the resilience of the corporate form is a function of the adaptability of the legal framework to a changing environment. We analyze a country's capacity to innovate using the rate of statutory legal change, the flexibility of corporate law, and institutional change as indicators. Our findings suggest that origin countries are more innovative than transplant countries.

JEL Classification: G3, K2, N2, P5

Suggested Citation

Pistor, Katharina and Keinan, Yoram and Kleinheisterkamp, Jan and West, Mark D., Innovation in Corporate Law. Available at SSRN: or

Katharina Pistor (Contact Author)

Columbia University School of Law ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
212-854-0068 (Phone)
212-854-7946 (Fax)

Yoram Keinan

Ernst & Young ( email )

1225 Connecticut Ave NW # 700
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Jan Kleinheisterkamp

London School of Economics - Law School ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 20 7955 7256 (Phone)


Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Mark D. West

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Professor of Law
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734-647-4041 (Phone)
734-764-8309 (Fax)

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