The Federalist Society

Shareholder Value Theory: Myth or Motivator? - Event Video

Faculty Division and the American Enterprise Institute

May 3, 2013

Lynn A. Stout, Jonathan R. Macey, Alex J. Pollock, Lee Liberman Otis

The following audio and video were recorded on May 1, 2013.

Shareholder Value Theory: Myth or Motivator? 5-1-13
Running Time: 01:28:45

Shareholder Value Theory: Myth or Motivator?Conventional wisdom holds that corporations should maximize shareholder value. In her new book “The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public” (Berrett-Koehler, 2012), Lynn Stout argues that this is a harmful myth. According to Stout, shareholder value thinking leads managers to focus exclusively on short-term earnings to the detriment of investors, corporations, and the public. 

According to Jon Macey, however, while shareholder value maximization may be a myth, it helpfully constrains corporate managers. Leaving corporate managers with unconstrained choices — the real result of Stout's argument — would be far more dangerous.    

Join Macey and Stout as they debate shareholder value thinking and its implications for the corporate community, public policy arena, and public.


  • Lynn Stout, Cornell Law School
  • Jon Macey, Yale Law School
  • Moderator: Alex Pollock, AEI
  • Introduction: Hon. Lee Liberman Otis, Senior Vice President & Faculty Division Director, The Federalist Society


American Enterprise Institute
Washington, DC

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