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Reforming corporate governance: redirecting the European agenda

  • Erik Berglof

Corporate governance reform is in the air. This article warns against partial and hastily conceived interventions in complex and fragile governance arrangements. Reformers should step back and analyse the fundamental links between corporate law and corporate finance, and between corporate governance and the rest of the economic and legal system. Reform efforts should not meddle with specific ownership and control structures. Specific problems like the poor liquidity of particular stock markets and poor protection of minority shareholders in some countries should be addressed directly. Fundamental reform of corporate governance is probably desirable in certain countries, but will require far-reaching and country-specific changes in the economic system. Reform is thus best handled at the level of individual member states. Initiatives to harmonize the structure and control of corporations at the European Union level are bound to fail, and the prospects for specific proposals like the European company statute are bleak at best. A European Commission 'Corporate Governance Policy' should focus on promoting transparency and the dissemination of information. Copyright Centre for Economic Policy Research, Centre for Economic Studies, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme 1997.

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Article provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 12 (1997)
Issue (Month): 24 (04)
Pages: 91-123

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:12:y:1997:i:24:p:91-123
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