Large Blocks of Stock: Prevalence, Size, and Measurement
29 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2004 Last revised: 28 Feb 2021
Date Written: August 2004
Large blocks of stock play an important role in many studies of corporate governance and finance. Despite this important role, there is no standardized data set for these blocks, and the best available data source, Compact Disclosure, has many mistakes and biases. In this paper, we document these mistakes and show how to fix them. The mistakes and bias tend to increase with the level of reported blockholdings: in firms where Compact Disclosure reports that aggregate blockholdings are greater than 50 percent, these aggregate holdings are incorrect more than half the time and average holdings for these incorrect firms are overstated by almost 30 percentage points. We also demonstrate that our fixes are economically and statistically significant in an analysis of the relationship between firm value and outside blockholders.
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