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date: 10 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter I examine whether short-termism in stock markets justifies using corporate law to further shield managers and boards from shareholder influence, to allow boards and managers to pursue their view of sensible long-term strategies in their investment and management policies even more freely. First, the evidence that on stock market short-termism is mixed and inconclusive, with managerial mechanisms under-rated sources of short-term distortions, including managerial compensation packages whose duration often is shorter than that of institutional stockholding; further insulating boards from markets would exacerbate these managerial short-term-favoring mechanisms. Nor are courts well positioned to make this kind of basic economic policy, which if serious is better addressed with policy tools unavailable to courts.

Keywords: corporate decision-making, short-termism, stock markets, corporate governance, corporate law, boards of directors, compensation packages, courts, short-term trading, managerial agency costs

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