Cornell International Law Journal


State-owned enterprises


Despite predictions of their demise in the aftermath of the collapse of socialist economies in Eastern Europe, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are very much alive in the global economy. The relevance of listed SOEs— firms subject to government ownership, but with a portion of their shares traded on public stock markets— has persisted and even increased around the world, as policymakers have encouraged the partial floating of SOE shares either as a first step toward, or as an alternative to, privatization. In this Article, we evaluate the governance challenges associated with mixed ownership of enterprise, and examine a variety of national approaches to the governance of listed SOEs, with a view to framing a robust policy discussion in many countries where SOE reform is a topic of major significance. We describe the evolution and current status of the institutional framework applicable to listed SOEs in eight different jurisdictions which reflect a variety of economic, legal, and political environments: France, the United States, Norway, Colombia, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, and China. We leverage the lessons from this comparative analysis by critiquing the policy prescriptions of international agencies such as the OECD and framing our own policy suggestions.