Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Three SSRN Postings: "Empty Voting", "Stakeholder Syndrome", and "Surveillance State Capitalism"

Jill E. Fisch, Mutual Fund Stewardship and the Empty Voting Problem ):

The exercise of institutional voting power is by fund managers or governance teams, people who have “little or no economic interest in the shares that they vote,” This “empty voting” has the potential to undermine the legitimacy of the shareholder franchise. It is of particular concern when the assets committed to a broad-based index fund are voted to support initiatives that have the potential to sacrifice economic value in favor of social or societal objectives about which the shareholders invested in that index fund may not agree.

Matteo Gatti & Chrystin D. Ondersma, Stakeholder Syndrome: Does Stakeholderism Derail Effective Protections for Weaker Constituencies? ( ):

Because available evidence suggests that corporations will seek to undermine any proposal that meaningfully shifts power and resources to workers, it is unlikely stakeholderism could provide equivalent protections that can actually improve workers’ position; assuming it could, its implementation would be no more feasible than direct regulation. Neither do we believe that stakeholderism can provide a fertile landscape for direct regulation, because corporations are likely to use stakeholderism as a pretext to wield greater political power and to shape the debate in their own favor, thus interfering with direct regulation. Ultimately, given the risks of allowing managers and directors wield stakeholderism in their own interests, political capital should be spent on achieving direct regulation rather than on a stakeholderist corporate governance reform.

Lauren Yu-Hsin Lin & Curtis J. Milhaupt, China's Corporate Social Credit System and the Dawn of Surveillance State Capitalism ( ):

Chinese state capitalism is transitioning toward a panoptic, technology-assisted variant that we call “surveillance state capitalism.” The mechanism driving the emergence of this variant is China’s corporate social credit system (CSCS) .... The CSCS is linked to a system of corporate rewards and punishments, representing a futuristic strategy of automated screening to determine which enterprises are allowed market access and benefits.... A key finding is that while the CSCS is a facially neutral means of measuring legal compliance, politically connected firms (regardless of their status as state-owned or private enterprises, or the extent of state equity ownership) receive higher overall scores .... The channel for this result is a “social responsibility” category that valorizes awards from the government and contributions to Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-sanctioned causes.

Stefan J. Padfield | Permalink


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