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Corporate Ownership Structure and the Evolution of Bankruptcy Law in the US and UK

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  • John Armour
  • B.R. Cheffins
  • D.A. Skeel Jr.
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    Abstract

    The past decade has seen intense academic debates over possible explanations for the different systems of corporate ownership and control that exist in developed economies. Yet the role of bankruptcy as a mechanism of corporate governance has received relatively little attention. Furthermore, many theories have failed to account successfully for events occurring in the UK, notwithstanding its similarity to the US. In response, this paper offers an account of the complementarities between bankruptcy law and ownership structure, which it is argued can explain developments in both the UK and the US. By identifying the effects of concentration or dispersion in firms' capital structure (across both equity and debt), and by analysing implications of these capital structure choices for bankruptcy, the paper develops a richer account of the corporate governance patterns we see in different nations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESRC Centre for Business Research in its series ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers with number wp226.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp226

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    Web page: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/

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    Keywords: Bankruptcy; Law and Finance; Ownership Structure; Debt Concentration;

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