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Columbia Law School

2003

Law and Economics

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Controlling Controlling Shareholders, Ronald J. Gilson, Jeffrey N. Gordon Jan 2003

Controlling Controlling Shareholders, Ronald J. Gilson, Jeffrey N. Gordon

Faculty Scholarship

The rules governing controlling shareholders sit at the intersection of the two facets of the agency problem at the core of public corporations law. The first is the familiar principal-agency problem that arises from the separation of ownership and control. With only this facet in mind, a large shareholder may better police management than the standard panoply of market-oriented techniques. The second is the agency problem that arises between controlling and non-controlling shareholders, which produces the potential for private benefits of control. There is, however, a point of tangency between these facets. Because there are costs associated with holding a ...