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Socially and privately optimal shareholder activism

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  • Pascal Frantz

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  • Norvald Instefjord

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    Abstract

    This paper aims to evaluate the private and social gains of shareholder activism in an optimal contracting framework involving dispersed shareholders who may become active. The social gains are based on the welfare to stake holders in the firm, whereas the private gains are based on shareholder wealth only. Active shareholders influence the contracting game with the CEO, and therefore also the size and the distribution of the surplus to be split between the shareholders and the CEO. Although the model is very simple and focussing on the creation and distribution of welfare between the shareholders and the CEO, we nonetheless identify surprising divergence between the private and social profitability of shareholder activism. Shareholder activism that is privately profitable is not necessarily socially profitable. The distributional effects of shareholder activism may dominate the efficiency effects to make shareholder activism a negative social NPV project. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10997-007-9013-x
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Management & Governance.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 23-43

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:11:y:2007:i:1:p:23-43

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102940

    Related research

    Keywords: Corporate governance; Dismissal; Executive pay; Shareholder activism; G32; J33; J41;

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    1. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Anjan V. Thakor, 1998. "The Many Faces of Information Disclosure," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 80, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Performance Pay And Top Management Incentives," Papers 88-04, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
    3. Thomas H. Noe, 2002. "Investor Activism and Financial Market Structure," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 289-318, March.
    4. Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-99, December.
    5. Hayne E. Leland and David H. Pyle., 1976. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 41, University of California at Berkeley.
    6. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
    7. Hallock, Kevin F., 1997. "Reciprocally Interlocking Boards of Directors and Executive Compensation," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(03), pages 331-344, September.
    8. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K & Sarin, Atulya, 1997. " Agency Problems, Equity Ownership, and Corporate Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 135-60, March.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
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