F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium

Those Japanese Firms with Their Disdain for Shareholders: Another Fable for the Academy

Steven N. Kaplan and J. Mark Ramseyer

We begin in Section II by discussing the modem theory of path dependence. In Section III, we trace the ties between that theory and the orthodox understanding of how Japanese firms behave. Then in Section IV, we report Steven Kaplan’s recent empirical work on the actual behavior of Japanese firms. Finally, armed with the empirical results that contradict the orthodox view, in Section V we suggest how that view may have arisen.