By Randall K. Morck
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Extra resources for A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers
Rms. Of these, 24 are subsidiaries in pyramids and only 34 have no controlling shareholder. They explore the history of the last and ﬁnd that they became widely held when their founding families sold out, either directly or with trust promoters as intermediaries. Some of this might have been market timing—selling stocks for more than their fundamental values during bubbles. Most of it was probably founding families appreciating the value of diversiﬁcation in a deep stock market. These wealthy families often retained inﬂuence on their boards without holding control blocks.
Trust Cooperative behavior with blood kin may well be genetically programmed, making families the default junctures of high-trust behavior for the individuals within them. 11 Mayer, Davis, and Schoorman (1995, p. ” Arrow (1974, p. 23) explains the advantages it bestows thus: “Trust is an important lubricant of a social system. ” Trust can lower transaction costs and permit eﬀective coordination and control. Macaulay (1963, p. 55) makes a strong case that the governance of business transactions has an important dimension that goes beyond formal agreements and contracts.
Ultimately, Schumpeter’s (1912) notion of creative destruction is an underlying principle of capitalism. But innovation and entrepreneurship need to be nurtured. Oligarchic family elites can use their considerable wealth and connections to maintain their power and control at the expense of economic development. Haber (1999), Morck, Wolfenzon, and Yeung (2004), Olson (1963, 1982), Rajan and Zingales (2003), Thurow (1989), and others call such entrenched elites oligarchies. Thurow, for example, distinguishes establishments from oligarchies.