Sunday, March 15, 2009
Is Berle and Means Really a Myth?, Brian R. Cheffins, University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI), and Steven A. Bank, University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law, was recently posted on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Berle and Means famously declared in 1932 that a separation of ownership and control was a hallmark of large U.S. corporations and their characterization of matters quickly became received wisdom. A series of recent papers (Hannah, 2007; Santos and Rumble, 2006, Holderness, forthcoming) has called the Berle-Means orthodoxy into question. This paper surveys the relevant historical literature on point, acknowledging in so doing that the pattern of ownership and control in U.S. public companies has been anything but monolithic but saying a separation between ownership and control remains an appropriate reference point for analysis of U.S. corporate governance.