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Shareholder Protection: A Leximetric Approach

  • Mathias Siems
  • Priya Lele

In this paper we build a new and meaningful shareholder protection index for five countries and code the development of the law for over three decades. At-tributing and comparing legal differences by numbers is contrary to the tradi-tional way of doing comparative law and the use of a quantitative methodology to account for variations across legal systems has been subjected to some searching criticisms. However, we believe that with a cautious approach, it has the potential to open new vistas of research in the area of comparative law and as such should not be shunned. This paper provides an illustration of the inter-esting possibilities that diligent quantification of legal rules ('leximetrics') pro-vides for comparing variations across time series and across legal systems. For instance, our study finds, that in all of our panel countries shareholder protec-tion has been improving in the last three decades; that the protection of minority against majority shareholders is considerably stronger in 'blockholder countries' as compared to the non-blockholder countries and that convergence in share-holder protection is taking place since 1993 and is increasing since 2001. Fi-nally, our examination of the legal differences between the five countries does not confirm the distinction between common law and civil law countries.

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Paper provided by ESRC Centre for Business Research in its series ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers with number wp324.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp324
Note: PRO-2
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/

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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "What Works in Securities Law?," NBER Working Papers 9882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 1999. "The Political Economy of Corporate Governance," CSEF Working Papers 29, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 01 Jul 2005.
  3. Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislav Gelfer, 2000. "Law and finance in transition economies," Working Papers 48, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  4. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Cohen, Alma, 2005. "The costs of entrenched boards," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 409-433, November.
  5. Cheffins, Brian R, 2001. "Does Law Matter? The Separation of Ownership and Control in the United Kingdom," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 459-84, Part I Ju.
  6. Enriques Luca, 2004. "The Mandatory Bid Rule in the Takeover Directive: Harmonization Without Foundation?," European Company and Financial Law Review, De Gruyter, vol. 1(4), pages 440-457, December.
  7. Khanna, Tarun, 2000. "Business groups and social welfare in emerging markets: Existing evidence and unanswered questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 748-761, May.
  8. Axel v. Werder & Till Talaulicar & Georg L. Kolat, 2005. "Compliance with the German Corporate Governance Code: an empirical analysis of the compliance statements by German listed companies," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 178-187, 03.
  9. Erik Berglof & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 1999. "The Changing Corporate Governance Paradigm: Implications for Transition and Developing Countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 263, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  10. Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislaw Gelfer, 2000. "Law and Finance in Transition Economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(2), pages 325-368, July.
  11. Tom Ginsburg & Robert Cooter, . "Leximetrics: Why the Same Laws are Longer in Some Countries than Others," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1080, American Law & Economics Association.
  12. Katharina Pistor & Martin Raiser & Stanislaw Gelfer, 2000. "Law and Finance in Transition Economies," CID Working Papers 49, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  13. Roe, Mark J, 2002. "Corporate Law's Limits," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 233-71, June.
  14. Roberta Romano, 2004. "The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Making of Quack Corporate Governance," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2653, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jul 2005.
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