Shareholder Protection Around the World ('Leximetric II')

University of Cambridge, CBR Working Paper No. 359

38 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2007 Last revised: 30 Jan 2014

See all articles by Mathias Siems

Mathias Siems

European University Institute (EUI); University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: March 1, 2008


This article analyzes how shareholder protection has developed in 20 countries from 1995 to 2005. In contrast to traditional legal research, it draws on a quantitative methodology to law ('leximetrics', 'numerical comparative law'). Some of its results are that in most countries shareholder protection has improved in the last years; that developed countries perform better than developing countries in protecting shareholders; that shareholder protection in common law countries is relatively similar whereas there is no comparable similarity within the German and French civil law families; that German corporate law is 'more mainstream' and US corporate law is 'more eccentric' than the law of the other countries; and that in general there has been convergence in the last decade. In order to explain these results, the distinction between origin and transplant countries can be useful. However, in contrast to previous studies, this does not mean that all depends on the distinction between English, French and German origin and transplant countries. Rather it is decisive (a) which 'version' of the corporate law the transplant country copied, (b) whether transplant countries continue to take developments in the origin countries into account and (c) whether transplant countries have left the path of their (former) origin countries.

This paper is part of a wider research project. The related papers can be downloaded at and

Keywords: Shareholder protection, leximetrics, numerical comparative law, law and finance, La Porta et al., LLSV, comparative company law, comparative corporate law, comparative corporate governance, legal origins, legal families, legal transplants, legal development, convergence, civil law, common law

JEL Classification: G00, G30, G38, K00, K22, N20, N40, P50

Suggested Citation

Siems, Mathias, Shareholder Protection Around the World ('Leximetric II') (March 1, 2008). University of Cambridge, CBR Working Paper No. 359, Available at SSRN: or

Mathias Siems (Contact Author)

European University Institute (EUI) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
Firenze, 50139


University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research ( email )

Top Floor, Judge Business School Building
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom


European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

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


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