In this paper, we argue that the relationship between shareholder conflicts and corporate assets can generate multiple equilibrium configurations that can be helpful to understand how corporate governance systems may change under different historical models of capitalism. These relationships can be modeled as ‘meta-complementarities’ existing among two different sets of institutional complementarity. The first institutional complementarity arises in realm of the conflicts among different stakeholders and generates multiple equilibria that define different systems of rights on corporate assets. The second institutional complementarity arises between corporate rights and assets. Dispersed shareholders and non-unionized workers are complementary organizational forms and generate a form of corporate governance interacting with complementary corporate assets. A similar set of institutional meta-complementarities characterizes the relation between concentrated ownership, unionized workers and corporate assets.
With. U. Pagano. Socio-Economi Review, forthcoming.