Working Paper

Private Enforcement of Corporate Law: An Empirical Comparison of the UK and US

It is often assumed that strong securities markets require good legal protection of minority shareholders. This implies both "good" law -- principally corporate and securities law -- and enforcement, yet there has been little empirical analysis...Read more

John Armour
Bernard Black
Brian Cheffins
01 February 2009

Differences in Governance Practices between U.S. and Foreign Firms: Measurement, Causes, and Consequences

We construct a firm-level governance index that increases with minority shareholder protection. Compared to U.S. matching firms, only 12.68% of foreign firms have a higher index. The value of foreign firms falls as their index decreases relative...Read more

Reena Aggarwal
Isil Erel
René Stulz
01 July 2007



We study the effect of staggered boards on long-run firm value using a natural experiment: a 1990 law that imposed a staggered board on all firms incorporated in Massachusetts. We find a significant and positive average (and median) increase in Tobins Q for innovating firms, particularly those facing greater Wall Street scrutiny. This increase in value appears to come, at least in part, from increased investment in R&D and capital expenditures and from valuable patents.

October 22 2019