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To Steal or Not to Steal: Firm Attributes, Legal Environment, and Valuation

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  • ART DURNEV
  • E. HAN KIM

Abstract

Data on corporate governance and disclosure practices reveal wide within‐country variation that decreases with the strength of investors' legal protection. A simple model identifies three firm attributes related to that variation: investment opportunities, external financing, and ownership structure. Using firm‐level governance and transparency data from 27 countries, we find that all three firm attributes are related to the quality of governance and disclosure practices, and firms with higher governance and transparency rankings are valued higher in stock markets. All relations are stronger in less investor‐friendly countries, demonstrating that firms adapt to poor legal environments to establish efficient governance practices.

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  • Art Durnev & E. Han Kim, 2005. "To Steal or Not to Steal: Firm Attributes, Legal Environment, and Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1461-1493, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:60:y:2005:i:3:p:1461-1493
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2005.00767.x
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law

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