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Country Legal Environments and Corporate Investment Performance

  • Dennis C. Mueller
  • B. Burcin Yurtoglu

In recent years considerable attention has been devoted to differences across countries in the institutional environments in which corporations operate, and the consequences of these institutional differences for corporate performance. In this paper we test for the presence of differences in corporate performance across 38 countries, and in particular whether these differences are related to the types of legal systems existing in each country. To measure corporate performance we estimate returns on investment relative to company costs of capital in each country. We find significant differences in the investment performance of corporations across our sample of countries. Companies in countries with English-origin, common law legal systems perform significantly better on average than do those in civil law systems. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2000.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 1 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 187-220

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:1:y:2000:i:2:p:187-220
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  1. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  2. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  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.
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  5. Grabowski, Henry G & Mueller, Dennis C, 1975. "Life-Cycle Effects on Corporate Returns on Retentions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(4), pages 400-409, November.
  6. Mueller, Dennis C, 1969. "A Theory of Conglomerate Mergers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 643-59, November.
  7. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Working Paper 19443, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  9. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  10. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 5554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Baumol, William J, et al, 1973. "Efficiency of Corporate Investment: A Reply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 128-31, February.
  12. Friend, Irwin & Husic, Frank, 1973. "Efficiency of Corporate Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 122-27, February.
  13. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  14. Mueller, Dennis C. & Yun, S. Lawrence, 1997. "Managerial discretion and managerial compensation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 441-454, July.
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  16. Grabowski, Henry G & Mueller, Dennis C, 1972. "Managerial and Stockholder Welfare Models of Firm Expenditures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 54(1), pages 9-24, February.
  17. Baumol, William J, et al, 1970. "Earnings Retention, New Capital and the Growth of the Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(4), pages 345-55, November.
  18. Mueller, Dennis C, 1972. "A Life Cycle Theory of the Firm," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 199-219, July.
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