April 27, 2022, Paper: "In corporate law policymaking, there is considerable attention to stock market short-termism. Public discourse pins some noticeable part of the blame for climate change, environmental damage, and mistreatment of stakeholders on stock market short-termism. Presidential candidates raise the issue and castigate the stock market; and it’s regularly invoked to justify securities regulation proposals and corporate case-law decisions. Here I examine the extant economic empirical work on stock market short-termism to assess whether it supports making stock market short-termism actionable in a major way for policy purposes. I evaluate it in two dimensions: first to see whether a consensus emerges from the work (none does) and second to see whether the work is conceptually structured to reveal its economy-wide severity. The latter conceptual point—the difficulty in scaling much corporate research to ascertain whether there’s an economy-wide problem—affects not just the stock market short-termism inquiry."
Non-HKS Harvard Faculty Website - Mark Roe