- Disproportional ownership •
- mechanisms •
We survey the empirical literature on disproportional ownership, i.e. the use of mechanisms that separate voting rights from cash flow rights in corporations.
Our focus is mostly on explicit mechanisms that allow some shareholders to acquire control with less than proportional economic interest in the firm (dual-class equity structures, stock pyramids, cross-ownership, etc.), but we also briefly discuss other mechanisms, such as takeover defenses and fiduciary voting. We provide a broad overview of different areas in this literature and highlight problems of interpretation that may arise because of empirical difficulties. We outline potentially promising areas for future research.