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11 Berkeley Bus. L.J. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/berkbusj11 and id is 1 raw text is: Unpacking the Board
A Comparative and Empirical Perspective
on Groups in Corporate Decision-Making
Hanjo Hamannt
Collegial decision-making is relevant for a host of legal questions and in
particular for corporate law. What do we know about its empirical effects?
Less than we could. As of yet, pertinent review articles usually (1) assume
rather than analyze how much the law actually mandates collegial decision-
making, (2) rely mostly on classical studies of decision-making or those from
behavioral economics, while underrating a century's worth of previous
empirical research, and (3) review the evidence anecdotally with little regard
for the robustness of each study's findings. As a consequence, scholars from
corporate law and economics even today rely on theories and evidence which
were disproved years ago. The present paper is a remedy. It combines a
thorough comparative analysis of corporate statutes with a comprehensive
research of empirical evidence, resulting in an assessment of the robust
empirical effects of collegial decision-making. Finding that groups tend to
deteriorate decision quality and exacerbate cognitive biases, this paper calls
upon corporate law to design institutional remedies. Knowing more about these
empirical effects will help scholars to identify and eliminate faulty arguments,
and thereby improve governance policy and the legal discourse as a whole.
t Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn (Germany).
This paper is based on the author's German Ph.D. thesis titled Evidenzbasierte Jurisprudenz. Methoden
empirischer Forschung und ihr Erkenntniswert ftir das Recht am Beispiel des Gesellschaftsrechts
(Evidence Based Jurisprudence. Methods and Epistemic Value of Empirical Research in Law, With
Examples From Corporate Law). I thank, in alphabetical order, Professors Christoph Engel, Henry
Hansmann, Don Langevoort, Mark Seidenfeld and Eyal Zamir for generous input on the issues raised in
this paper, as well as Angela Dorrough and Dr. Alexander Morell for valuable comments on an earlier
version. Dr. Brian Cooper kindly weeded out all mistakes in spelling and grammar-before I revised the
paper and planted all of those that may yet bloom.

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