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Is ‘Good’ governance good for business? A cross-national analysis of firms in African countries

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  • Ngobo, Paul Valentin
  • Fouda, Maurice
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    Abstract

    Good governance can reduce uncertainty, transaction, search and production costs, and ultimately affect firm performance. In this paper, we explore the link between good governance and the profitability of individual firms in African countries. We employ the governance indices developed at the World Bank and assemble a sample of companies from 21 countries over four years. Contrary to prior research that found a negative association between institutional development and profitability, our evidence shows that an improvement of good governance in countries currently with low levels of governance ratings has greater positive effects on the firm profitability than a similar improvement in countries with relatively higher ratings of good governance. Good governance reduces the variability of the company's profitability, leading to high-return and low-risk investments. Finally, we find that the role of good governance depends upon the country's income level. When the income level is lower, an improvement in public governance is more likely to impact firm performance than when the income level is relatively higher. Good governance is more important for the stability of the profitability of firms in countries with higher levels of good governance ratings than lower ratings.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

    Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 435-449

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:47:y:2012:i:3:p:435-449

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    Related research

    Keywords: Good governance; Institutions; Profitability; Risk; Africa;

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