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Law of incorporation and firm ownership structure: The law and finance theory revisited

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  • Bozec, Yves
  • Rousseau, Stephane
  • Laurin, Claude

Abstract

La Porta et al.'s [La Porta, R., Lopez-de-Silanes, F., Shleifer, A., & Vishny, R. (1998). Law and finance. Journal of Political Economy, 106(6), 1113-1155] theory of law and finance predicts that minority controlled ownership structures, i.e. those that allow voting rights to exceed cash-flow rights, are more numerous in legal contexts that do not adequately protect investors against expropriation attempts by dominant shareholders. The purpose of our study is to test this prediction in a unique environment, that of the province of Quebec. Quebec owes its distinct status to the fact that it is the only jurisdiction among the 10 provinces of Canada to operate under civil law, while the other nine provinces operate under common law. We show that, in comparison to those in the rest of Canada, dominant shareholders in Quebec corporations hold a higher percentage of voting rights, with a wider gap between their voting rights and cash-flow rights.

Suggested Citation

  • Bozec, Yves & Rousseau, Stephane & Laurin, Claude, 2008. "Law of incorporation and firm ownership structure: The law and finance theory revisited," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 140-149, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:28:y:2008:i:2:p:140-149
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stijn Claessens & Simeon Djankov & Joseph P. H. Fan & Larry H. P. Lang, 2002. "Disentangling the Incentive and Entrenchment Effects of Large Shareholdings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2741-2771, December.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
    3. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    4. Alexander Dyck & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Private Benefits of Control: An International Comparison," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 537-600, April.
    5. repec:hrv:faseco:30728046 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cho, Myeong-Hyeon, 1998. "Ownership structure, investment, and the corporate value: an empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 103-121, January.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
    10. 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, April.
    11. Lins, Karl V., 2003. "Equity Ownership and Firm Value in Emerging Markets," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 159-184, March.
    12. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
    13. Lucian A. Bebchuk & Reinier Kraakman & George Triantis, 2000. "Stock Pyramids, Cross-Ownership, and Dual Class Equity: The Mechanisms and Agency Costs of Separating Control from Cash-Flow Rights," NBER Chapters,in: Concentrated Corporate Ownership, pages 295-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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 1155-1177, December.
    15. Yves Bozec & Claude Laurin, 2008. "Large Shareholder Entrenchment and Performance: Empirical Evidence from Canada," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1-2), pages 25-49.
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