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Where do firms incorporate? Deregulation and the cost of entry

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  • Marco Becht
  • Colin Mayer
  • Hannes F. Wagner

Abstract

We study how deregulation of corporate law affects the decision of entrepreneurs of where to incorporate. Recent rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have enabled entrepreneurs to select their country of incorporation independently of their real seat. We analyze foreign incorporations in the U.K., where incorporations of limited liability companies can be arranged at low cost. Using data for over 2 million companies from around the world incorporating in the U.K., we find a large increase in cross-country incorporations from E.U. Member States following the ECJ rulings. In line with regulatory cost theories, incorporations are primarily driven by minimum capital requirements and setup costs in home countries. We record widespread use of special incorporation agents to facilitate legal mobility across countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oxford Financial Research Centre in its series OFRC Working Papers Series with number 2008fe04.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sbs:wpsefe:2008fe04

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Web page: http://www.finance.ox.ac.uk
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Keywords: Incorporation; costs of regulation; regulatory competition;

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References

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  1. Kahan, Marcel & Kamar, Ehud, 2002. "The Myth of State Competition in Corporate Law," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt3xq7p9xw, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  2. Guhan Subramanian, 2004. "The Disappearing Delaware Effect," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 32-59, April.
  3. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
  4. Bar-Gill, Oren & Barzuza, Michal & Bebchuk, Lucian Arye, 2002. "The Market for Corporate Law," CEPR Discussion Papers 3553, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & López-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," CEPR Discussion Papers 2953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Romano, Roberta, 1985. "Law as a Product: Some Pieces of the Incorporation Puzzle," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 225-83, Fall.
  7. Roberta Romano, 1998. "Empowering Investors: A Market Approach to Securities Regulation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm74, Yale School of Management.
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Cited by:
  1. Loureiro, Gilberto, 2010. "The reputation of underwriters: A test of the bonding hypothesis," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 516-532, September.
  2. Djankov, Simeon, 2008. "The Regulation of Entry: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 7080, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Chris Mallin & Kean Ow-Yong, 2010. "The UK Alternative Investment Market – Ethical Dimensions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 223-239, September.
  4. Goergen, M. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2008. "Contractual Corporate Governance," Discussion Paper 2008-41, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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