Chapter 7: Round Table Discussion: Shareholder Rights in European Corporations: Impact on Economic Performance
Margaret Blair, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Gregory Jackson and Robert M. Solow Robert Solow (MIT) What are the effects of new forms of shareholder participation in companies in Europe, and in particular their impact on growth? I think that ‘growth’ has become too much of a buzz-word in discussions like this, and I would rather think that the subject is not the influence of new forms of shareholder participation on growth, but on economic performance – however one cares to define that. I would invite everybody not to be too narrowly focused on proportional rates of growth, but to think about such things as the level of output, the ability to exploit capacity to produce, the ability to generate an equitable distribution of income, and so on. We have three participants in the discussion: I’m going to ask Margaret Blair to be the first speaker. She is at the Vanderbilt University Law School – that’s her permanent base. For Europeans, Vanderbilt is in Nashville, Tennessee – centre of the cult of Elvis Presley and home to the Grand Ole Opry – institutions with which you are probably not acquainted, and with which I think you will survive not being so well acquainted. Margaret Blair is, I think, on the other side of the Atlantic, in North America, the pioneer in challenging sole attention to the shareholder benefit model of the corporation, in favour of a sort of team model, recognizing the business enterprise as a team involved in production and marketing. After that I shall call...
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