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Business Groups in Emerging Markets: Paragons or Parasites?

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  • Khanna, Tarun
  • Yafeh, Yishay
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    Abstract

    Diversified business (or corporate) groups, consisting of legally independent firms operating in multiple markets, are ubiquitous in emerging markets and even in some developed economies. The study of groups, a hybrid organizational form between firm and market, is of relevance to industrial organization, corporate finance, development, economic growth and other domains of economic inquiry. This survey begins with stylized facts on groups around the world, and proceeds to a critical review the existing literature, which has focused almost entirely on groups as diversified entities and on conflicts between controlling and minority shareholders. Other schools of thought on the political economy of corporate groups, on groups and monopoly power, and on groups as networks are discussed next. We then proceed to promising, yet virtually unexplored, alternative lenses for viewing groups, for example, as quasi venture-capitalists or as family-based structures. The analysis points out important biases in the literature including the avoidance of a serious discussion of the origins of business groups, and the unfounded assumption that rent-seeking is the only feasible political economy equilibrium in an interaction between groups and the government. We note that the empirical tendency to use recent data implies that the vast majority of studies exploit cross-sectional variation; the absence of (long) time-series data ensures that some conceptually important issues, such as how groups shape the environment in which they operate, receive relatively little attention. Lastly, we outline an agenda for future research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5208.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5208

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    Keywords: business groups; emerging markets;

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    Cited by:
    1. Hainz, Christa, 2006. "Business Groups in Emerging Markets - Financial Control and Sequential Investment," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 124, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    2. Della Piana, Bice & Vecchi, Alessandra & Cacia, Claudia, 2012. "Towards a better understanding of Family Business Groups and their key dimensions," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 174-192.
    3. Estrin, Saul & Prevezer, Martha, 2010. "A survey on institutions and new firm entry: How and why do entry rates differ in emerging markets?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 289-308, September.
    4. Cuervo-Cazurra, Alvaro, 2007. "Sequence of value-added activities in the multinationalization of developing country firms," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 258-277, September.
    5. ROMMENS, An & CUYVERS, Ludo & DELOOF, Marc, 2007. "Interlocking directorates and business groups: Belgian evidence," Working Papers 2007023, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    6. Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, 2006. "Business groups and their types," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 419-437, December.
    7. Christa Hainz, 2006. "Business Groups in Emerging Markets-Financial Control & Sequential Investment," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp830, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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