March 11, 2005
Comparative Corporate Governance
Posted by Gordon Smith

The Wisconsin International Law Journal is hosting a symposium today and tomorrow on "Economic Globalization and Corporate Governance." I was a surprised that so much of the discussion in today's session revolved around those well-known articles by La Porta, Lopez-Silanes, Schleifer & Vishny (LLSV), which I have discussed here and here. Detlev Vagts noted one fairly egregious error in the coding of Germany, and Geof Stapledon mentioned another in their treatment of Australia. Last year my friend Randall Thomas, in a review of Mark Roe's book, Political Determinants of Corporate Governance, observed with respect to LLSV: "Finance economists have come up with indices, but none of them make a lot of sense to lawyers." Despite the widely acknowledged coding and design errors in the LLSV articles, their "law matters" story remains an intriguing one in the legal academy.

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