Article

Private Contracting, Law and Finance

Citation

Acheson GG, Campbell G & Turner JD (2019) Private Contracting, Law and Finance. Review of Financial Studies, 32 (11), pp. 4156-4195. https://doi.org/10.1093/rfs/hhz020

Abstract
In the late nineteenth century Britain had almost no mandatory shareholder protections, but had very developed financial markets. We argue that private contracting between shareholders and corporations meant that the absence of statutory protections was immaterial. Using circa 500 articles of association from before 1900, we code the protections offered to shareholders in these private contracts. We find that firms voluntarily offered shareholders many of the protections which were subsequently included in statutory corporate law. We also find that companies offering better protection to shareholders had less concentrated ownership.

Keywords
Law and finance; ADRI; shareholder protection; corporate ownership; common law

Journal
Review of Financial Studies: Volume 32, Issue 11

StatusPublished
FundersThe Leverhulme Trust
Publication date30/11/2019
Publication date online14/02/2019
Date accepted by journal24/10/2018
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/28175
ISSN0893-9454
eISSN1465-7368