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University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Separation Of Voting And Control: The Role Of Contract In Corporate Governance, Gabriel V. Rauterberg Jun 2021

The Separation Of Voting And Control: The Role Of Contract In Corporate Governance, Gabriel V. Rauterberg

Articles

The default rules of corporate law make shareholders’ control rights a function of their voting power. Whether a director is elected or a merger is approved depends on how shareholders vote. Yet, in private corporations shareholders routinely alter their rights by contract. This phenomenon of shareholder agreements—contracts among the owners of a firm— has received far less attention than it deserves, mainly because detailed data about the actual contents of shareholder agreements has been lacking. Private companies disclose little, and shareholder agreements are thought to play a trivial or nonexistent role in public companies. I show that this is false—fifteen …


Is There A Delaware Effect For Controlled Firms?, Edward Fox Jan 2021

Is There A Delaware Effect For Controlled Firms?, Edward Fox

Articles

The impact of Delaware incorporation on firm value remains a central question in corporate law. Despite the difficulty scholars have had in agreeing on an answer to this question, there is a consensus that Delaware has long enjoyed stable and important advantages in the expertise of its judiciary and its extensive case law. These advantages are believed to be particularly important for firms with a controlling shareholder. This Article attempts to empirically measure the effect of Delaware incorporation on these controlled firms and thus helps us understand the market value of Delaware’s judiciary and case law. It finds, surprisingly, that …


Federal Forum Provisions And The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, Ofer Eldar Aug 2020

Federal Forum Provisions And The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, Ofer Eldar

Articles

A key question at the intersection of state and federal law is whether corpo- rations can use their charters or bylaws to restrict securities litigation to federal court. In December 2018, the Delaware Chancery Court answered this question in the negative in the landmark decision Sciabacucchi v. Salzberg. The court invalidated “federal forum provisions” (“FFPs”) that allow companies to select federal district courts as the exclusive venue for claims brought under the Secur- ities Act of 1933 (“1933 Act”). The decision held that the internal affairs doc- trine, which is the bedrock of U.S. corporate law, does not permit charter …


Golden Parachutes And The Limits Of Shareholder Voting, Albert H. Choi, Andrew C.W. Lund, Robert Schonlau Jan 2020

Golden Parachutes And The Limits Of Shareholder Voting, Albert H. Choi, Andrew C.W. Lund, Robert Schonlau

Articles

With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, Congress attempted to constrain change-in-control payments (also known as “golden parachutes”) by giving shareholders the right to approve or disapprove such payments on an advisory basis. This Essay is the first to empirically examine the experience with the Say-on-Golden-Parachute (“SOGP”) vote. We find that unlike shareholder votes on proposed mergers, there is a significant amount of variation with respect to votes on golden parachutes. Notwithstanding the variation, however, the SOGP voting regime is likely ineffective in controlling golden parachute (“GP”) compensation. First, proxy advisors seem …


Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard Nov 2017

Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using a sample of all companies named as defendants in securities class actions between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, we study parallel suits relying on state corporate law arising out of the same allegations as the securities class actions. We test several ways that parallel suits may add value to a securities class action. Most parallel suits target cases involving obvious indicia of wrongdoing. Moreover, we find that although a modest percentage of parallel suits are filed first, over 80 percent are filed after a securities class action (termed “follow-on” parallel suits). We find that parallel suits and, …


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms or …


Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard Jun 2016

Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

This study investigates risk factor disclosures, examining both the voluntary, incentive-based disclosure regime provided by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act as well as the SEC's subsequent mandate of these disclosures. Firms subject to greater litigation risk disclose more risk factors, update the language more from year to year, and use more readable language than firms with lower litigation risk. These differences in the quality of disclosure are pronounced in the voluntary disclosure regime, but converge following the SEC mandate as low-risk firms improved the quality of their risk factor disclosures. Consistent with these findings, …


Sec Investigations And Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Comparison, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard Mar 2016

Sec Investigations And Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Comparison, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using actions with both an SEC investigation and a class action as our baseline, we compare the targeting of SEC-only investigations with class-action-only lawsuits. Looking at measures of information asymmetry, we find that investors in the market perceive greater information asymmetry following the public announcement of the underlying violation for class-action-only lawsuits compared with SEC-only investigations. Turning to sanctions, we find that the incidence of top officer resignation is greater for class-action-only lawsuits relative to SEC-only investigations. Our findings are consistent with the private enforcement targeting disclosure violations at least as precisely as (if not more so than) SEC enforcement.


Economic Crisis And The Integration Of Law And Finance: The Impact Of Volatility Spikes, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson Mar 2016

Economic Crisis And The Integration Of Law And Finance: The Impact Of Volatility Spikes, Edward G. Fox, Merritt B. Fox, Ronald J. Gilson

Articles

The 2008 financial crisis raised puzzles important for understanding how the capital market prices common stocks and in turn, for the intersection between law and finance. During the crisis, there was a dramatic five-fold spike, across all industries, in “idiosyncratic risk”—the volatility of individual-firm share prices after adjustment for movements in the market as a whole.

This phenomenon is not limited to the most recent financial crisis. This Article uses an empirical review to show that a dramatic spike in idiosyncratic risk has occurred with every major downturn from the 1920s through the recent financial crisis. It canvasses three possible …


The Institutional Appetite For Quack Corporate Governance, Alicia J. Davis Sep 2015

The Institutional Appetite For Quack Corporate Governance, Alicia J. Davis

Articles

This Article offers evidence that higher quality internal corporate governance is associated with higher levels of ownership by institutional investors. This finding is consistent with the idea that institutions have greater reason than individual investors to prefer well-governed firms, but surprising given the substantial empirical evidence that casts doubt on the efficacy of internal governance mechanisms. The study described in this Article also finds that higher quality external governance is associated with lower proportions of ownership by certain types of institutional investors, also a somewhat surprising result given available empirical evidence on the positive relationship between external governance and firm …


Private Regulation Of Insider Trading In The Shadow Of Lax Public Enforcement: Evidence From Canadian Firms, Laura Nyantung Beny, Anita Anand Jan 2013

Private Regulation Of Insider Trading In The Shadow Of Lax Public Enforcement: Evidence From Canadian Firms, Laura Nyantung Beny, Anita Anand

Articles

Like firms in the United States, many Canadian firms voluntarily restrict trading by corporate insiders beyond the requirements of insider trading laws (i.e., super-compliance). Thus, we aim to understand the determinants of firms’ private insider trading policies (ITPs), which are quasi-contractual devices. Based on the assumption that firms that face greater costs from insider trading (or greater benefits from restricting insider trading) ought to be more inclined than other firms to adopt more stringent ITPs, we develop several testable hypotheses. We test our hypotheses using data from a sample of firms included in the Toronto Stock Exchange/Standard and Poor’s (TSX/S&P) …


The Effective Tax Rate Of The Largest Us And Eu Multinationals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yaron Lahav Jan 2012

The Effective Tax Rate Of The Largest Us And Eu Multinationals, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Yaron Lahav

Articles

The United States has the second highest statutory corporate tax rate in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) (after Japan).1 This has not always been the case. After the Tax Reform Act of 1986 lowered the U.S. rate from 46% to 34%,2 the United States had one of the lowest statutory corporate tax rates in the OECD.3 In the past twenty-five years, however, the U.S. rate has remained essentially unchanged (it was raised to 35% in 1993),4 while most other OECD countries reduced their statutory rate so that the OECD average statutory corporate tax rate is 25.1%.


Symposium On International Taxation And Competitiveness: Introduction And Overview, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nicola Sartori Jan 2012

Symposium On International Taxation And Competitiveness: Introduction And Overview, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Nicola Sartori

Articles

In February, 2012, the Treasury and White House unveiled President Obama's Framework for Business Tax Reform. A major proposal was to abolish the deferral on income earned by foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations ("CFCs").


Bankruptcy Noir, James J. White Jan 2008

Bankruptcy Noir, James J. White

Articles

In Bankruptcy Fire Sales, Professor LoPucki and Dr. Doherty do two things. First, they present provocative data about the relative payoff to be had in Chapter 11 by a full reorganization compared with the payoff from a section 363 sale without a full reorganization. Second, they give a yet more provocative explanation for their data. Taking a page from Professor LoPucki's recent book, they blame the meager return that they observe on 363 sales on the unprincipled behavior of the lawyers, managers, creditors, investment bankers, and even judges involved in the sales. Messrs. LoPucki and Doherty's data appear to …


Review Of Foreign Direct Investment And The Regional Economy, James R. Hines Jr. Jan 2007

Review Of Foreign Direct Investment And The Regional Economy, James R. Hines Jr.

Reviews

There is a broad consensus that foreign direct investment (FDI) confers economic advantages on local economies. Jones and Wren simply refuse to share the good feeling about FDI without first processing some numbers. In doing so, they take a detached and serious look at the consequences of foreign direct investment in one area, the northeastern region of England. They have access to excellent data on the regional operations of foreign-owned plants from 1985 to 1999, and use these data to answer important questions about FDI in the region. How large are the benefits that FDI brings, as measured by new …


Should Issuers Be On The Hook For Laddering? An Empirical Analysis Of The Ipo Market Manipulation Litigation, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi Jan 2004

Should Issuers Be On The Hook For Laddering? An Empirical Analysis Of The Ipo Market Manipulation Litigation, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi

Articles

On December 6, 2000, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story exposing abuses in the market for initial public offerings (IPOs). The story revealed "tie-in" agreements between investment banks and initial investors seeking to participate in "hot" offerings. Under those agreements, initial investors would commit to buy additional shares of the offering company's stock in secondary market trading in return for allocations of shares in the IPO. As the Wall Street Journal related, those "[c]ommitments to buy in the after-market lock in demand for additional stock at levels above the IPO price. As such, they provide the rocket fuel …


Too Busy To Mind The Business? Monitoring By Directors With Multiple Board Appointments, Stephen P. Ferris, Murali Jagannathan, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2003

Too Busy To Mind The Business? Monitoring By Directors With Multiple Board Appointments, Stephen P. Ferris, Murali Jagannathan, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

We examine the number of external appointments held by corporate directors. Directors who serve larger firms and sit on larger boards are more likely to attract directorships. Consistent with Fama and Jensen (1983), we find that firm performance has a positive effect on the number of appointments held by a director. We find no evidence that multiple directors shirk their responsibilities to serve on board committees. We do not find that multiple directors are associated with a greater likelihood of securities fraud litigation. We conclude that the evidence does not support calls for limits on directorships held by an individual.


Corporate Judgement Proofing: A Response To Lynn Lopucki's 'The Death Of Liability', James J. White Jan 1998

Corporate Judgement Proofing: A Response To Lynn Lopucki's 'The Death Of Liability', James J. White

Articles

In "The Death of Liability" Professor Lynn M. LoPucki argues that American businesses are rendering themselves judgment proof.- Using the metaphor of a poker game, Professor LoPucki claims American businesses are increasingly able to participate in the poker game without putting "chips in the pot." He argues that it has become easier for American companies to play the game without having chips in the pot because of the ease with which a modern debtor can grant secured credit, because of the growth of the peculiar form of sale known as asset securitization, because foreign havens for secreting assets are now …


Contract Law In Modern Commercial Transactions, An Artifact Of Twentieth Century Business Life?, James J. White Jan 1982

Contract Law In Modern Commercial Transactions, An Artifact Of Twentieth Century Business Life?, James J. White

Articles

Diligent first year law students study contract law with a passion previously reserved for romantic objects and religious idols. Their professors lead them in extensive and difficult intellectual explorations of the wilds of contract law. There are careful analyses of why damage recovery X will stimulate performance Y, why recovery A is appropriate to encourage the aggrieved party to return to the market, and so on and so forth. Lurking behind this year long analysis are several inarticulate hypotheses: that they make rational evaluations of the threat of legal sanctions; that they respond in other varied and subtle ways to …