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Differences in Governance Practices between U.S. and Foreign Firms: Measurement, Causes, and Consequences

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Listed:
  • Reena Aggarwal
  • Isil Erel
  • René Stulz
  • Rohan Williamson

Abstract

We construct a firm-level governance index that increases with minority shareholder protection. Compared with U.S. matching firms, only 12.68% of foreign firms have a higher index. The value of foreign firms falls as their index decreases relative to the index of matching U.S. firms. Our results suggest that lower country-level investor protection and other country characteristics make it suboptimal for foreign firms to invest as much in governance as U.S. firms do. Overall, we find that minority shareholders benefit from governance improvements and do so partly at the expense of controlling shareholders. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Reena Aggarwal & Isil Erel & René Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2010. "Differences in Governance Practices between U.S. and Foreign Firms: Measurement, Causes, and Consequences," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(3), pages 3131-3169, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:23:y:2010:i:3:p:3131-3169
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law

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