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Do Publicly Traded Corporations Act in the Public Interest?

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  • Gordon Roger H.

    () (University of California, San Diego)

Abstract

Models of corporate behavior normally assume that a firm acts in the interest of shareholders, and that shareholders care only about the returns they receive on the shares they own in that firm. But shareholders should also care about the effects of a manager's decisions on the value of shares they own in other firms, on the price they pay as consumers for the firm's output, on the costs they bear from pollutants emitted by the firm, on the value of the firm's bonds they own, on government tax revenue that finances public expenditures benefiting shareholders, etc. These effects are normally presumed to be of second order. This paper reexamines this presumption, argues that many of these effects are likely to be important, and explores the resulting implications for forecasted corporate behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon Roger H., 2003. "Do Publicly Traded Corporations Act in the Public Interest?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:advances.3:y:2003:i:1:n:2
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brito, Duarte & Ribeiro, Ricardo & Vasconcelos, Helder, 2020. "Overlapping ownership, endogenous quality, and welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    2. Miguel Antón & Florian Ederer & Mireia Giné & Martin Schmalz, 2016. "Common Ownership, Competition, and Top Management Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2046R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2017.
    3. Hart, Oliver & Zingales, Luigi, 2017. "Companies Should Maximize Shareholder Welfare Not Market Value," Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 247-275, November.
    4. Aloys Prinz & Tsjalle Burg, 2013. "Public bads and private firms: efficiency and sustainability with different allocations of voting rights," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 423-445, December.
    5. Park, Jihwon & Sani, Jalal & Shroff, Nemit & White, Hal, 2019. "Disclosure incentives when competing firms have common ownership," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 387-415.
    6. Koptyug, Nikita & Persson, Lars & Tåg, Joacim, 2020. "Should we worry about the decline of the public corporation? A brief survey of the economics and external effects of the stock market," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    7. Vives, Xavier, 2020. "Common ownership, market power, and innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    8. Jon D. Harford, 1997. "Firm ownership patterns and motives for voluntary pollution control," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(6), pages 421-431.
    9. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2007. "Retailing public goods: The economics of corporate social responsibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1645-1663, September.
    10. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1990. "Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Corporate Financial Policy and Organizational Form," NBER Working Papers 3222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Azar, José & Schmalz, Martin & Tecu, Isabel, 2017. "Anti-Competitive Effects of Common Ownership," IESE Research Papers D/1169, IESE Business School.
    12. Jacob P. Gramlich & Serafin J. Grundl, 2017. "Estimating the Competitive Effects of Common Ownership," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-029, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 19 Feb 2017.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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