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Mark J. Roe, Explaining Western Securities Markets, in Corporate Governance and Firm Organization: Microfoundations and Structural Forms 279 (Anna Grandori ed., 2004).

Abstract: This chapter questions the power of law in solving CG problems and maintains that there are societal and political forces that are likely to shape governance structures irrespective of any regulation. In particular, the most common configuration of those forces around the world tends to reinforce concentrated ownership no matter what laws are adopted to protect minority shareholders. The chapter presents a new regression analysis of a wide database on political indicators and ownership concentration in sixteen major countries, which supports the conjecture that political variables, in particular the degree of employment protection and trade union strength, are strong inverse correlates of ownership separation and the diffusion of public companies.