I will be available for interviews at the 2015 ASSA annual meeting.
Job Market Paper
I show shareholder litigation rights are an important tool for mitigating agency conflicts. To empirically identify the effects of litigation, I use the staggered adoption of universal demand (UD) laws in 23 states between 1989 and 2005. These laws create a significant obstacle to lawsuits against directors and officers for breach of fiduciary duty. UD laws are associated with increased use of governance provisions (e.g., classified boards) that entrench managers or otherwise limit shareholder voice. I also document fewer institutional blockholders, changes to financial policies and CEO compensation, and lower accounting performance for firms subject to UD. Overall, my findings cast doubt on the traditional notion that shareholder lawsuits primarily benefit attorneys rather than corporations or their shareholders.