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St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series


Date: Wednesday 25 October 2017
Time: 18:00 -19:30
Speaker: Ciaran Driver
Talk Title: 'How corporate governance is central to economic policy’
LocationRamsden Room, St Catharine's College

The seminar series is supported by the Cambridge Journal of Economics and the Economics and Policy Group at the Cambridge Judge Business School.

An audio recording of the presentation:


Ciaran Driver is Professor of Economics in the School of Finance and Management at SOAS University of London. His research interests include capital investment, industrial economics, innovation and corporate governance on which he has published widely. He has held visiting posts at the Australian National University and Stellenbosch University, has had attachments to several global business schools, and has advised various national and international public bodies. He co-authored with Paul Temple The Unbalanced Economy: a policy appraisal, Palgrave-Macmillan (2014) Beyond Shareholder Value (2013), with colleagues at the TUC and NPI; and he contributed a chapter on innovation and finance to the Sage Handbook on Corporate Governance (2012). An edited compendium on corporate governance (with Grahame

Thompson) will be published by OUP in 2018. Recent journal articles deal with the effects of corporate governance on R&D (Research Policy 2012); the economics of advertising (Journal of Economic Surveys 2015) and the perverse effects of high-powered executive pay (Industrial and Corporate Change 2017). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation. Full publications and further information can be found on Researchgate: 

Talk Overview
This talk concerns the economic effects of corporate governance systems in advanced countries and how the design of governance interacts with economic policy. It starts off with a reprise of recent trends in corporate governance theory, distinguishing the arguments for shareholder value (including agency theory), from critical stakeholder perspectives such as organization theory; property rights approaches; and externalities. The implications of the governance form for the economy are then discussed in terms of forward commitments such as capital investments and R&D and the time-horizon over which these are assessed; pay-out in the form of dividends and buybacks; and effects on labour and work commitment. The evidence for corporate governance effects on macroeconomic performance is assessed with reference to country studies and the variety of capitalism literature. Changes to the corporate governance system are considered by discussing which particular problems of economic policy are responsive to chosen governance reforms, ranging over: managerial approaches; dual-class shares; engagement of investors; and stakeholder representation.

Please contact the seminar organisers Philip Arestis ( and Michael Kitson ( in the event of a query.


Wednesday, 25 October, 2017 - 18:00 to 19:30