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Cleaning Corporate Governance

Frankenreiter, Jens and Hwang, Cathy and Nili, Yaron and Talley, Eric L., Cleaning Corporate Governance (February 11, 2021). University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Forthcoming, Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2021-05, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2021-16, Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper No.644, Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1690, European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No. 738/2021, Available at SSRN:

“We make three principal contributions to the literature. First, we label our corpus for a variety of firm- and state-level governance features. Doing so reveals significant infirmities within the most well-known corporate governance datasets, including an error rate exceeding eighty percent in the G-Index, the most widely used proxy for “good governance” in law and finance. Correcting these errors substantially weakens one of the most well-known results in law and finance, which associates good governance with higher investment returns. Second, we make our corpus freely available to others, in hope of providing a long-overdue resource for traditional scholars as well as those exploring new frontiers in corporate governance, ranging from machine learning to stakeholder governance to the effects of common ownership. Third, and more broadly, our analysis exposes twin cautionary tales about the critical role of lawyers in empirical research, and the dubious practice of throttling public access to public records.”

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