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40 Years of Evolving Corporate Governance

Antoine Rebérioux ** Professeur d'économie, Université de Paris, Ladyss.Contact :
Thibault DARCILLON * Maître de conférences en économie, Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint Denis, LED.Contact :

This article examines changes in corporate governance, in Europe and in the U.S.A, from the late 1970s to the present. The financial liberalisation and globalisation movements have been associated with a rise of investment funds in the equity capital of large listed companies, in the 1980s and 1990s. At the same time, legal reforms have enhanced the rights of these minority shareholders. As a result, significant changes in corporate governance practices have taken place (composition of company boards, executive compensation, profit distribution, etc.). In the 2000s, we observe a shift towards a governance less focused on the return on investment for minority shareholders. A number of rules and practices have developed, aimed at limiting the short-term effects of market finance and at fostering the ecological and social transition.

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1   Pour la construction de l'indicateur synthétique de protection des actionnaires, cf. Katelouzou et Siems (2015).

2   Pour une analyse plus détaillée de la disclosure dans le cas français, cf. Perraudin et al. (2013).

3   Pour plus de détails, cf. le guide sur les prises de participations hostiles en Europe de BonelliErede, Bredin Prat, De Brauw, Hengeler Mueller, Slaughter and May, and Uría Menéndez.

4   Pour une analyse détaillée, cf. Crifo et Rebérioux (2019).

5   Cet article affirme maintenant : « Toute société doit avoir un objet licite et être constituée dans l'intérêt commun des associés. La société est gérée dans son intérêt social et en prenant en considération les enjeux sociaux et environnementaux de son activité. »

6   « Each version of that document issued since 1997 has stated that corporations exist principally to serve their shareholders. It has become clear that this language on corporate purpose does not accurately describe the ways in which we and our fellow CEOs endeavor every day to create value for all our stakeholders, whose long-term interests are inseparable. », Business Roundtable, août 2019, Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.

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