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Full-Text Articles in Law

Corporate Voting, Paul H. Edelman, Robert B. Thompson Jan 2009

Corporate Voting, Paul H. Edelman, Robert B. Thompson

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Discussion of shareholder voting frequently begins against a background of the democratic expectations and justifications present in decision-making in the public sphere. Directors are assumed to be agents of the shareholders in much the same way that public officers are representatives of citizens. Recent debates about majority voting and shareholder nomination of directors illustrate this pattern. Yet the corporate process differs in significant ways, partly because the market for shares permits a form of intensity voting and lets markets mediate the outcome in a way that would be foreign to the public setting and partly because the shareholders' role is ...


Arrow's Theorem And The Exclusive Shareholder Franchise, Grant M. Hayden, Matthew T. Bodie Jan 2009

Arrow's Theorem And The Exclusive Shareholder Franchise, Grant M. Hayden, Matthew T. Bodie

All Faculty Scholarship

In this essay, we contest one of the main arguments for restricting corporate board voting to shareholders. In justifying the limitation of the franchise to shareholders, scholars have repeatedly turned to social choice theory—specifically, Arrow’s theorem—to justify the exclusive shareholder franchise. Citing to the theorem, corporate law commentators have argued that lumping different groups of stakeholders together into the electorate would result in a lack of consensus and, ultimately, the lack of coherence that attends intransitive social choices, perhaps even leading the corporation to self-destruct. We contend that this argument is misguided. First, we argue that scholars ...