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The European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) is delighted to announce the winners of the best papers in the Working Paper Finance and Law Series’ published in 2018.

The 2019 Aberdeen Standard Investments Prize of EUR 5,000 has been awarded to Patrick Bolton (Columbia University and ECGI), Tao Li (University of Florida), Enrichetta Ravina (Northwestern University), Howard Rosenthal (New York University), for their paper on “Investor Ideology” (ECGI Finance Working Paper 557/2018).

The paper provides a new angle on understanding the voting behaviour of institutional investors. It draws on the notion that (institutional) investors are heterogeneous and have different ways of understanding and interpreting the corporate world. The paper innovates by drawing on research methods that political science researchers have developed to categorize and map the ideologies of political parties. It stands out because it examines an important aspect of corporate governance from a new angle. The jury was particularly enthusiastic about its innovativeness.

The 2019 Cleary Gottlieb Steen Hamilton Prize for the Best Paper in the ECGI Law Working Paper Series has been awarded to Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard Law School, NBER, CEPR and ECGI), and Scott Hirst (Boston University, Harvard Law School) for their paper on “Index Funds and the Future of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, and Policy” (ECGI Law Working Paper 433/2018).

The paper provides a comprehensive theoretical, empirical and policy analysis of passive investment funds, which have become a central player both in the US and elsewhere. Due to agency problems, the paper shows, the managers of passive funds have significant incentives to under-invest in stewardship, as well as to defer excessively to corporate managers, relative to what would best serve the funds’ beneficial investors. The paper also provides detailed evidence regarding the stewardship activities of passive funds, puts forward a number of policy proposals for improving these activities, and discusses the implications of its agency-costs analysis for key corporate governance debates. The jury's selection for the prize reflects the importance of this paper's contribution to one of the key debates in today's corporate governance.

Referring to the awards, Professor Marco Becht, ECGI Executive Director said: 

“The Working Paper prizes exemplify the importance of the research conducted by the ECGI research members around the world and the applicability of that research to the real world. ECGI is very grateful to the sponsors, Aberdeen Standard Investments and Cleary Gottlieb Steen Hamilton for their support of the series.”


Click here to access the paper “Investor Ideology” (ECGI Finance Working Paper 557/2018)

Click here to access the paper “Index Funds and the Future of Corporate Governance: Theory, Evidence, and Policy” (ECGI Law Working Paper 433/2018).







Elaine McPartlan

General Manager

+32 2 550 2340


Professor Marco Becht

Executive Director




About the European Corporate Governance Institute

The ECGI is an international scientific non-profit association which provides a forum for debate and dialogue focusing on major corporate governance issues and thereby promoting best practice. It is the home for all those with an interest in corporate governance offering membership categories for academics, practitioners, patrons and institutions.

Its primary role is to undertake, commission and disseminate research on corporate governance. Based upon impartial and objective research and the collective knowledge and wisdom of its members, it can advise on the formulation of corporate governance policy and development of best practice. In seeking to achieve the aim of improving corporate governance, ECGI acts as a focal point for academics working on corporate governance in Europe and elsewhere, encouraging the interaction between the different disciplines, such as economics, law, finance and management.


About the ECGI Working Paper Series

The primary purpose of the two series (Law and Finance) is to publish research papers on corporate governance related topics that are authored or co-authored by ECGI Research Members i.e. those who have been elected as ECGI Fellows or nominated as ECGI Research Associates.

The series editors generally apply a broad definition of corporate governance and also include papers on the interface between corporate governance and other areas, or papers of which only a part touches on corporate governance. However, papers in other areas whose relevance for corporate governance is only indirect or methodological are not included.



About Aberdeen Standard Investments

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) is a leading global asset manager dedicated to creating long-term value for clients, and is a brand of the investment businesses of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments. With over 1,000 investment professionals, ASI manages £505.1 billion* of assets worldwide and has clients in 80 countries supported by 50 relationship offices. This ensures ASI is close to its clients and the markets in which it invests.  As high-conviction, long-term investors ASI believe teamwork and collaboration are the key to delivering repeatable, superior investment performance.

(*as at 31 December 2018)



About Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Founded in 1946, Cleary Gottlieb has grown to over 1,200 lawyers from more than 50 countries, working across practices, industries, jurisdictions, and continents to provide clients with simple, actionable approaches to their most complex legal and business challenges.

We support every client relationship with intellectual agility, commercial acumen, and a human touch. We have a proven track record for serving with innovation. We are fluent in the many languages of local and global business. And we have achieved consistent success in multiple jurisdictions.

Global corporations, financial institutions, sovereign governments, local businesses, and individuals come to us for consistently practical and forward-looking advice.





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