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What Determines Protection of Property Rights? An Analysis of Direct and Indirect Effects

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  • Meghana Ayyagari
  • Asli Demirgüç-Kunt
  • Vojislav Maksimovic

Abstract

Using cross-country data, we evaluate four conceptually distinct causal variables believed to shape property rights institutions: Legal Origin, Endowments, Ethnic Diversity, and Religion. Given the correlations between the explanatory variables, it is difficult to fashion empirical tests which are consistent in their treatment of the competing theories and to know which regressions to take seriously, giving rise to competing interpretations in the literature. We identify which of the variables are direct determinants of property rights protection and which are not, and subject the outcomes to a battery of robustness tests. We find that ethnic fractionalization is the dominant institutional predictor of property rights protection across the world. Despite the attention it has received in the literature, the impact of Legal Origin on protection of property rights appears fragile and dependent on the inclusion of transition economies in the sample. Copyright The Author, 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Meghana Ayyagari & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2013. "What Determines Protection of Property Rights? An Analysis of Direct and Indirect Effects," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 11(4), pages 610-649, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jfinec:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:610-649
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher A. Hartwell, 2014. "Do (successful) stock exchanges support or hinder institutions in transition economies?," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-18, December.
    2. Durnev, Art & Fauver, Larry, 2008. "Stealing from Thieves: Firm Governance and Performance when States are Predatory," CEI Working Paper Series 2008-12, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    3. Romeu, Andrés & Martinez-Sanchez, Francisco, 2015. "Technological Development and Software Piracy," UMUFAE Economics Working Papers 43702, DIGITUM. Universidad de Murcia.
    4. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, 2006. "Finance and economic development : policy choices for developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3955, The World Bank.
    5. Ayyagari, Meghana & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2012. "Financing of firms in developing countries : lessons from research," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6036, The World Bank.
    6. KOUADIO, Hugues, 2015. "Constraints of SME in West Africa: the case of Côte d'Ivoire after the crisis," MPRA Paper 79055, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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