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A History of Corporate Governance around the World

Family Business Groups to Professional Managers

For many Americans, capitalism is a dynamic engine of prosperity that rewards the bold, the daring, and the hardworking. But to many outside the United States, capitalism seems like an initiative that serves only to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a few hereditary oligarchies. As A History of Corporate Governance around the World shows, neither conception is wrong.

In this volume, some of the brightest minds in the field of economics present new empirical research that suggests that each side of the debate has something to offer the other. Free enterprise and well-developed financial systems are proven to produce growth in those countries that have them. But research also suggests that in some other capitalist countries, arrangements truly do concentrate corporate ownership in the hands of a few wealthy families.

A History of Corporate Governance around the World provides historical studies of the patterns of corporate governance in several countries-including the large industrial economies of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States; larger developing economies like China and India; and alternative models like those of the Netherlands and Sweden.


“This book is a treasure and a key addition for the bookshelves of all economic historians and their university libraries.  The scope, the approach, the breadth, and the depth of the research contained in this volume are of the highest order. . . . The individual chapters in the volume represent scholarship at its best.  Together they make a highly significant publication.. . This reviewer recommends all chapters as major contributions to the disciplines and as examples of critical work in these areas.”

Sue Bowden | Economic History Review

Table of Contents

The Global History of Corporate Governance: An Introduction
Randall K. Morck and Lloyd Steier
1. The Rise and Fall of the Widely Held Firm: A History of Corporate Ownership in Canada
Randall K. Morck, Michael Percy, Gloria Y. Tian, and Bernard Yeung
Comment: Jordan Siegel
2. The History of Corporate Ownership in China: State Patronage, Company Legislation, and the Issue of Control
William Goetzmann and Elisabeth Köll
Comment: Dwight H. Perkins
3. Corporate Ownership in France: The Importance of History
Antoin E. Murphy
Comment: Daniel Raff
4. The History of Corporate Ownership and Control in Germany
Caroline Fohlin
Comment: Alexander Dyck
5. The Evolution of Concentrated Ownership in India: Broad Patterns and a History of the Indian Software Industry
Tarun Khanna and Krishna G. Palepu
Comment: Ashoka Mody
6. The History of Corporate Ownership in Italy
Alexander Aganin and Paolo Volpin
Comment: Daniel Wolfenzon
7. A Frog in a Well Knows Nothing of the Ocean: A History of Corporate Ownership in Japan
Randall K. Morck and Masao Nakamura
Comment: Sheldon Garon
8. Financing and Control in the Netherlands: A Historical Perspective
Abe de Jong and Alisa Röell
Comment: Peter Högfeldt
9. The History and Politics of Corporate Ownership in Sweden
Peter Högfeldt
Comment: Ailsa Röell
10. Spending Less Time with the Family: The Decline of Family Ownership in the United Kingdom
Julian Franks, Colin Mayer, and Stefano Rossi
Comment: Barry Eichengreen
11. Why Has There Been So Little Block Holding in America?
Marco Becht and J. Bradford DeLong
Comment: Richard Sylla
Author Index
Subject Index

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