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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2009

Corporate governance

Securities Law

Washington and Lee University School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Legitimate Rights Of Public Shareholders, Lawrence E. Mitchell Sep 2009

The Legitimate Rights Of Public Shareholders, Lawrence E. Mitchell

Washington and Lee Law Review

In recent years there has been significant ongoing academic debate over the expansion ofpublic shareholders 'participation rights in corporate governance. The debate has accompanied a dramatic increase in institutional shareholder and hedge fund activism attempting to influence the conduct ofcorporate affairs. The legitimacy ofshareholderp articipationr ights depends upon the actual role public shareholders play in contributing to the corporation's function of providing goods and services and, ultimately, to economic growth and social welfare. Few in the debate have stopped to examine this question. This Article presents original empirical evidence that demonstrates that public shareholders do not, on net, contributec ...