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Law and Finance

  • Rafael La Porta
  • Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes
  • Andrei Shleifer
  • Robert W. Vishny

This paper examines legal rules covering protection of corporate shareholders and creditors, the origin of these rules, and the quality of their enforcement in 49 countries. The results show that common†law countries generally have the strongest, and french civil law countries the weakest, legal protections of investors, with German†-and Scandinavian†-civil†law countries located in the middle. We also find that concentration of ownership of shares in the largest public companies is negatively related to investor protections, consistent with the hypothesis that small, diversified share†holders are unlikely to be important in countries that fail to protect their rights.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/250042
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 106 (1998)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1113-1155

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:106:y:1998:i:6:p:1113-1155
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, December.
  2. Ross Levine, 1998. "The legal environment, banks, and long-run economic growth," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Aug, pages 596-620.
  3. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1994. "What Do We Know About Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," NBER Working Papers 4875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gorton, Gary & Schmid, Frank A., 2000. "Universal banking and the performance of German firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 29-80.
  5. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
  6. Levy, Haim, 1983. " Economic Evaluation of Voting Power of Common Stock," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 79-93, March.
  7. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Maxim Boycko & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1993. "Privatizing Russia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 139-192.
  9. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1996. "Stock markets, banks, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1690, The World Bank.
  10. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1988. "One share-one vote and the market for corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 175-202, January.
  11. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  12. 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 1155-77, December.
  13. Marco Pagano & Fabio Panetta & Luigi Zingales, . "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," CRSP working papers 330, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  14. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  15. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  16. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-88, June.
  17. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1988. "Corporate governance : Voting rights and majority rules," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 203-235, January.
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