IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Quality of the Legal System, Firm Ownership, and Firm Size

  • Luc Laeven

    (International Monetary Fund and CEPR)

  • Christopher Woodruff

    (Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California San Diego)

We show that firm size is increasing with the quality of the legal system in Mexico. A 1-standard-deviation improvement in the quality of the legal system is associated with a 0.15-0.30 standard deviation increase in firm size. We also show that the legal system affects firm size by reducing the idiosyncratic risk faced by firm owners. The legal system has a smaller impact on partnerships and corporations than on proprietorships, where risk is concentrated in a single owner. All of the findings are robust to instrumenting for legal quality using historical conditions. By focusing on firms in a single country, the data draw attention to the importance of informal institutions. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/rest.89.4.601
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 601-614

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:89:y:2007:i:4:p:601-614
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

Order Information: Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lamont, Owen, 1997. " Cash Flow and Investment: Evidence from Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 83-109, March.
  2. Andrei Shleifer & Daniel Wolfenson, 2000. "Investor Protection and Equity Markets," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1906, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. James Tybout, 1999. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Development and Comp Systems 9906001, EconWPA, revised 10 Jun 1999.
  4. Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Entry," Working Paper 19462, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  5. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
  6. Richard J. Gilbert., 1988. "Mobility Barriers and the Value of Incumbency," Economics Working Papers 8895, University of California at Berkeley.
  7. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "The Central Role of Entrepreneurs in Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 153-170, Summer.
  8. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134.
  10. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Does Local Financial Development Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 929-969.
  11. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Guillermo Zamarripa, 2003. "Related Lending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 231-268.
  12. David J. McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2006. "Do Entry Costs Provide an Empirical Basis for Poverty Traps? Evidence from Mexican Microenterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 3-42.
  13. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  14. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  15. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," NBER Working Papers 5879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Scholarly Articles 3606235, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  18. Cabral, Luís M B & Mata, José, 2001. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 3045, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco & Bianco, Magda, 2005. "Courts and Banks: Effects of Judicial Enforcement on Credit Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 223-44, April.
  20. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  21. Kumar, Krishna B & Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1999. "What Determines Firm Size?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2211, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Claessens, Stijn & Laeven, Luc, 2002. "Financial development, property rights, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2924, The World Bank.
  23. Levine, Ross, 1998. "The Legal Environment, Banks, and Long-Run Economic Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(3), pages 596-613, August.
  24. Steven J. Davis & Magnus Henrekson, 1997. "Explaining National Differences in the Size and Industry Distribution of Employment," NBER Working Papers 6246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  26. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  27. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  28. Hyun-Han Shin & René M. Stulz, 1998. "Are Internal capital Markets Efficient?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 531-552.
  29. Himmelberg, Charles P. & Hubbard, R. Glenn & Love, Inessa, 2002. "Investor protection, ownership, and the cost of capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2834, The World Bank.
  30. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "Property Rights and Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1335-1356, December.
  31. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:89:y:2007:i:4:p:601-614. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kristin Waites)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.