The Global History of Corporate Governance: An Introduction
49 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2005 Last revised: 30 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 2005
This paper presents a synopsis of recent NBER studies of the history of corporate governance in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, the studies underscore the importance of path dependence, often as far back into preindustrial period; legal system origin, though in a more nuanced form than mere statutory shareholder rights; and wealthy families. They also clarify the roles of ideologies, business groups, trust, institutional transplants, and politics in institutional evolution and financial development. Other themes are the universality of business insiders' investments in, entrenchment, and a possible behavioral basis for this.
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