NBER Working Papers by Dennis P. Sheehan

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Working Papers

October 1998Constraints on Large-Block Shareholders
with Clifford G. Holderness: w6765
Corporate managers who own a majority of the common stock in their company or who represent another firm owning such an interest appear to be less constrained than managers of diffusely held firms, yet their power to harm minority shareholders must be circumscribed by some organizational or legal arrangements. Empirical investigations reveal that boards of directors in majority-owned firms are little different from firms with diffuse stock ownership. Another source of constraints on a majority shareholders -- capital market activity -- also appears to be no different from firms with diffuse ownership. Finally, there is little evidence that new organizational mechanisms have evolved to constrain managers who own large blocks of stock. The frequency and associated wealth effects of reorga...

Published: Constraints on Large-Block Shareholders, Clifford Holderness, Dennis P. Sheehan. in Concentrated Corporate Ownership, Morck. 2000

May 1998Were the Good Old Days That Good? Changes in Managerial Stock Ownership Since the Great Depression
with Clifford G. Holderness, Randall S. Kroszner: w6550
We document that ownership by officers and directors of publicly-traded firms is on average higher today than earlier in the century. Managerial ownership rises from 13 percent for the universe of exchange-listed corporations in 1935, the earliest year for which such data exist, to 21 percent in 1995. We examine in detail the robustness of the increase and explore hypotheses to explain it. Higher managerial ownership has not substituted for alternative corporate governance mechanisms. Lower volatility and greater hedging opportunities associated with the development of financial markets appear to be important factors explaining the increase in managerial ownership.

Published: Journal of Finance (April 1999): 435-469.

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