Shareholder and creditor protection in Australia: A leximetric analysis

Helen Lesley Anderson, Michelle Anne Welsh, Ian Malcolm Ramsay, Peter Gahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article utilises leximetric analysis, which involves the numerical coding of the strength of legal protections, to show changes in levels of shareholder and creditor protection in Australia for the period 1970 to 2010. This form of analysis, originally developed by La Porta et al, and subsequently used by many scholars in different legal fields, allows for the production of graphs which illustrate changes to the law, reducing complexities and allowing for comparisons of shareholder and creditor protection. The data show levels of shareholder protection have increased, most notably against actions of the board of directors rather than against other shareholders. In contrast, levels of creditor protection have been relatively stable. The article explores how and why these developments in shareholder and creditor protection have occurred. The research also identifies that for most of the 40-year period of study, there was a positive correlation between shareholder and creditor protection. However, this is no longer the case for recent years and possible explanations for this finding are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366 - 390
Number of pages25
JournalCompany and Securities Law Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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