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Germany’s Corporate Governance Reforms; Has the System Become Flexible Enough?

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  • Jürgen Odenius

Abstract

This article reviews Germany's corporate governance system and the effectiveness of recent reforms. Since the early 1990s far-reaching reforms have complemented the traditional stakeholder system with important elements of the shareholder system. Instead of taking a view on the superiority of either system, this article raises the important question whether these reforms created sufficient flexibility for the market to optimize its corporate governance structure within well established social and legal norms. It concludes that there is scope for enhancing flexibility in three core areas, relating to (i) internal control mechanisms, especially the flexibility of board structures; (ii) self-dealing; and (iii) external control, particularly take-over activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen Odenius, 2008. "Germany’s Corporate Governance Reforms; Has the System Become Flexible Enough?," IMF Working Papers 08/179, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/179
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena & Marquez, Robert, 2007. "Stakeholder capitalism, corporate governance and firm value," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/26, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    2. Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Corporate Governance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 1-35, January.
    3. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2008. "The law and economics of self-dealing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 430-465, June.
    4. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1980. "Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 42-64, Spring.
    5. Conac Pierre-Henri & Enriques Luca & Gelter Martin, 2007. "Constraining Dominant Shareholders' Self-Dealing: The Legal Framework in France, Germany, and Italy," European Company and Financial Law Review, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 491-528, December.
    6. Denis, Diane K. & McConnell, John J., 2003. "International Corporate Governance," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 1-36, March.
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