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Corporate Governance in Costa Rica

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  • Gilberto E. Arce
  • Edgar Robles C.
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    Abstract

    This paper examines corporate governance practices in Costa Rica. First, it estimates corporate governance charter measures using firm-level data for 87 Costa Rican firms and studies their impact on the firms` performance; here, the mean of the corporate governance charters for the publicly traded firms is equal to 56. 14. Second, new evidence is presented on de jure and de facto corporate governance charter measures at the firm level and on their effect on the performance of the firm. The results indicate that de facto corporate governance is better than de jure corporate governance. These results suggest that firms must implement a set of additional measures to compensate for the weakness of the legal environment. Also, evidence is presented that better corporate governance and charter measures are associated with superior firm performance. Third, this paper examines the final controllers of publicly and non-publicly traded firms and links them with their dividend policies. Family firms are common in Costa Rica and are not necessarily linked to better firm performance. Fourth, the ownership evolution of Costa Rican firms is studied. Finally, changes in the Commercial Code are examined from a good corporate governance practices view.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3218.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3218

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    1. Burkart, Mike & Panunzi, Fausto & Shleifer, Andrei, 2002. "Family Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3234, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
      • Mike Burkart & Fausto Panunzi & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "Family Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2167-2202, October.
    2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Klapper, Leora F. & Love, Inessa, 2004. "Corporate governance, investor protection, and performance in emerging markets," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 703-728, November.
    5. Bengt Holmstrom & Steven N. Kaplan, 2003. "The State of U.S. Corporate Governance: What's Right and What's Wrong?," NBER Working Papers 9613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-83, June.
    7. Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Corporate Governance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2086, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Hermalin, B.E. & Weisbech, M.S., 1991. "The Effects of Board Composition and Direct Incentives on Firm Performance," Papers 91-02, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
    9. Johnson, Simon & Boone, Peter & Breach, Alasdair & Friedman, Eric, 2000. "Corporate governance in the Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 141-186.
    10. Bengt Holmstrom & Steven N. Kaplan, 2001. "Corporate Governance and Merger Activity in the United States: Making Sense of the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 121-144, Spring.
    11. Daniel Berkowitz & Katharina Pistor & Jean-Francois Richard, 2000. "Economic Development, Legality, and the Transplant Effect," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 308, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    12. Paul A. Gompers & Joy L. Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2002. "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-32, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    13. Alexander Monge-Naranjo & Javier Cascante & Luis J. Hall, 2001. "Enforcement, Contract Design, and Default: Exploring the Financial Markets of Costa Rica," Research Department Publications 3126, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    14. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
    15. Charles P. Oman, 2001. "Corporate Governance and National Development," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 180, OECD Publishing.
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