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The influence of pension funds on corporate governance

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Although pension funds have gained importance in the last two decades, their role has not been described in detail by economic models. This article focuses on the scope of these institutional investors when they are not satisfied with a management team of a company in which the pension fund holds a block of shares. Stock holdings by pension funds are largely dispersed. Therefore, any intervention by pension funds in corporate governance requires the formation of a coalition of pension funds. The realization of a coordinated intervention, in turn, is subject to the problems related to the provision of public goods, such as free riding. We find that the stock dispersion and the combined share of pension funds, coordination costs and the attractiveness of the exit option are relevant factors for determining the probability of the success of interventions.

Keywords: Coase theorem; G23; G34; H41; Q50; corporate governance; pension funds; public goods

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Theoretical Economics/Macroeconomics, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany 2: Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich (CER-ETH) and CCRS, University of Zurich, CH-8032, Zurich, Switzerland

Publication date: July 3, 2014

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