Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Shareholder Power

Research Handbook on Shareholder Power

Research Handbooks in Corporate Law and Governance series

Edited by Jennifer G. Hill and Randall S. Thomas

Much of the history of corporate law has concerned itself not with shareholder power, but rather with its absence. Yet, as this Handbook shows, there have been major shifts in capital market structure that require a reassessment of the role and power of shareholders. This book provides a contemporary analysis of shareholder power and considers the regulatory consequences of changing ownership patterns around the world. Leading international scholars in corporate law, governance and financial economics address these central issues from a range of different perspectives including historical, contemporary, legal, economic, political and comparative.

Chapter 7: Ownership and control in family business groups around the world

Ronald W. Masulis, Peter Kien Pham and Jason Zein

Subjects: law - academic, corporate law and governance


In many financial markets, publicly listed firms are frequently linked together through a common controlling shareholder, often a family. Such family business groups have been identified in the “law and finance” literature as posing a significant risk for minority investors and a manifestation of weak legal and institutional environments underpinning their investments. This study examines the importance of family business groups in individual economies that exhibit varying levels of investor legal protection and financial development. For this analysis, we rely on a new dataset of business group structures from 45 countries first developed in Masulis, Pham and Zein (2011). Expanding on the evidence from Masulis, Pham and Zein (2011), we focus on cross-country variations in family business group control structures and their recent changes in market capitalization and number of affiliated members to further our understanding of why family business groups continue to be economically important and their implications for shareholder protection around the world. We begin by reviewing the current state of the literature on business groups and especially on some key findings in several related studies based on our dataset.

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