Research Handbook on the Economics of Corporate Law
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Research Handbook on the Economics of Corporate Law

Edited by Claire A. Hill and Brett H. McDonnell

Comprising essays specially commissioned for the volume, leading scholars who have shaped the field of corporate law and governance explore and critique developments in this vibrant and expanding area and offer possible directions for future research.
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Chapter 21: The Past and Future of Comparative Corporate Governance

Donald C. Clarke


Donald C. Clarke* 1. INTRODUCTION Recent years have seen the rise of comparative corporate governance (CCG) as an increasingly mainstream approach within the world of corporate governance studies. In part, this stems from a recognition by legal scholars that globalization calls for an increased understanding of how things are done in the rest of the world. And in part, it is a function of an increasingly empirical turn in corporate law scholarship generally. Different practices in other jurisdictions present at least the possibility of natural experiments that attempt to find causal relationships between particular features of a corporate governance regime and real-world outcomes. What specifically is unique about CCG as an approach to corporate governance studies? What have we learned, and where should we go? These questions are particularly urgent as we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century. The financial crisis has called into question (if it has not yet, perhaps, definitively overturned) many of our traditional ways of thinking about corporate governance and the relationship between business enterprises and the state (Westbrook 2009; Verret 2010; Posner 2009). Are there other countries that do it better? But there is another economic trend that makes comparative corporate governance research more urgent than ever: the rise of what we might call ‘non-traditional’ jurisdictions. As this chapter will show, CCG research has dealt extensively and skillfully with AngloAmerican jurisdictions, Europe, and Japan. But the last 30 years have seen a startling rise in the economic importance of other countries, particularly China...

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