June 10, 2012
Cheffins et al. on Stock Market Developments 1930-70
Questioning 'Law and Finance': US Stock Market Development, 1930-70, by Brian R. Cheffins, University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Steven A. Bank, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law; and Harwell Wells, Temple University - Beasley School of Law, was recently posted on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
An important tenet of a burgeoning 'law and finance' literature is that stock market development is contingent upon corporate law offering ample protection to shareholders. This paper addresses this claim, using as its departure point developments occurring in the United States between 1930 and 1970. We show that, contrary to what the law and finance literature would predict, the US lacked during this period and throughout the 20th century generally corporate law that provided extensive protection to shareholders. We also point out that while federal securities legislation introduced in the mid-1930s bolstered investor protection, this reform effort did not energize the stock market in the manner implied by law and finance analysis.
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