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Culture, openness, and finance

  • Stulz, Rene M.
  • Williamson, Rohan

Religions have little to say about shareholders but have much to say about creditors. We find that the origin of a country's legal system is more important than its religion and language in explaining shareholder rights. However, a country's principal religion helps predict the cross-sectional variation in creditor rights better than a country's openness to international trade, its language, its income per capita, or the origin of its legal system. Catholic countries protect the rights of creditors less than other countries, and long-term debt is less important in these countries. A country's openness to international trade mitigates the influence of religion on creditor rights. Religion and language are also important predictors of how countries enforce rights.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 313-349

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:70:y:2003:i:3:p:313-349
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

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