2018 GCGC

1-2 June 2018

Is Corporate Governance a First Order Cause of the Current Malaise?


Jeffrey Gordon

Richard Paul Richman Professor of Law and Co-Director Columbia Law School


Miriam Schwartz-Ziv

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University


The United States, indeed much of the OECD, seems caught in a certain malaise. Take three salient problems, the “triad”: significant inequality; economic insecurity; and slow economic growth. In the search for causes and remedies, some have identified the governance of large public corporations, “corporate governance,” as a first order cause. To some extent I think there are important corporate governance elements in each of these problems, potentially remediable. Even with significant corporate governance changes, however, the pressures from globalizing product and capital markets will produce an on going need for complementary government policies to mitigate adjustment costs that no firm can internalize over the long run.

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