Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Considerable scholarship during the last few decades addresses the question of whether corporate laws are becoming global by converging on commonly accepted approaches. Some scholars have asserted that such convergence is occurring around the most efficient laws and institutions, thereby marking the “End of History” for corporate law. This Article responds to such assertions by developing three claims not previously given due attention in the convergence literature. First, it demonstrates that the history of corporations and corporate law has been one of seemingly constant movement toward global convergence, yet the resulting convergence is always incomplete or transitory. Next, it points out that because forces besides efficiency also produce convergence, convergence often occurs around corporate laws and institutions that have no particular efficiency or other normative advantage, or that necessarily represent stable equilibrium points. Finally, the Article asks what are the important corporate laws and institutions by which to measure the extent of convergence at any one time. It develops the answer that a stable convergence is least likely for the most important corporate law issues, which are characterized by tensions between competing policies and no easy solutions for the problems presented.

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