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Corporate Ownership Structure and the Evolution of Bankruptcy Law in the US and UK

John Armour, B.R. Cheffins and D.A. Skeel

Working Papers from Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge

Abstract: The past decade has seen intense academic debates over possible explanations for the different systems of corporate ownership and control that exist in developed economies. Yet the role of bankruptcy as a mechanism of corporate governance has received relatively little attention. Furthermore, many theories have failed to account successfully for events occurring in the UK, notwithstanding its similarity to the US. In response, this paper offers an account of the complementarities between bankruptcy law and ownership structure, which it is argued can explain developments in both the UK and the US. By identifying the effects of concentration or dispersion in firms' capital structure (across both equity and debt), and by analysing implications of these capital structure choices for bankruptcy, the paper develops a richer account of the corporate governance patterns we see in different nations.

Keywords: Bankruptcy; Law and Finance; Ownership Structure; Debt Concentration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G32 G33 K22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fin and nep-law
Note: PRO-2
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

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