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Ferreting Out Tunneling: An Application to Indian Business Groups

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  • Marianne Bertrand
  • Paras Mehta
  • Sendhil Mullainathan

Abstract

In many countries, controlling shareholders are accused of tunneling, transferring resources from companies where they have few cash flow rights to ones where they have more cash flow rights. Quantifying the extent of such tunneling, however, has proven difficult because of its illicit nature. This paper develops a general empirical technique for quantifying tunneling. We use the responses of different firms to performance shocks to map out the flow of resources within a group of firms and to quantify the extent to which the marginal dollar is tunneled. We apply our technique to data on Indian business groups. The results suggest a significant amount of tunneling between firms in these groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7952.

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Date of creation: Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7952

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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Daniel Wolfenson, 2000. "Investor Protection and Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 7974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60, February.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, 04.
  4. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  5. Eric Friedman & Simon Johnson & Peter Boone & Alasdair Breach, 1999. "Corporate Governance in the Asian Financial Crisis," Departmental Working Papers 199920, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  6. Zingales, Luigi, 1995. "What Determines the Value of Corporate Votes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1047-73, November.
  7. Lucian Bebchuk & Reinier Kraakman & George Triantis, 1999. "Stock Pyramids, Cross-Ownership, and the Dual Class Equity: The Creation and Agency Costs of Seperating Control from Cash Flow Rights," NBER Working Papers 6951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 1994. "What do firms do with cash windfalls?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 337-360, December.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
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