IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Evolution of Ownership Disclosure Rules across Countries


  • Mathias M. Siems
  • Michael C. Schouten


Over recent years, a number of regulators have launched proposals to expand the obligation to disclose major share ownership in listed companies. This article shows that these are not stand-alone developments. Using a unique dataset comprising data from 25 countries over 11 years (1995-2005) and collected by the Centre for Business Research of the University of Cambridge, we empirically study the evolution of ownership disclosure rules across countries. The analysis demonstrates that these rules have become more stringent over time, in the sense that disclosure thresholds have been lowered, and that there has been convergence. A breakdown of the results suggests that the degree of countries’ economic development is a relevant factor in explaining the differences between countries. The analysis also suggests a positive correlation between ownership disclosure and other variables that protect minority shareholders, as well as a positive correlation between the stringency of countries’ ownership disclosure rules and the degree of dispersed ownership. In the article, we offer various possible explanations for these results. Going forward, while it appears unlikely that disclosure thresholds will be lowered much further, ownership disclosure rules can be expected to continue to evolve in other dimensions. Regulators are likely to broaden the definition of the stake that triggers disclosure, so as to ensure that the ultimate owner is reached. In addition, regulators may require more information be disclosed when the notification is made, so as to enable other investors and issuers to adequately assess the implications of major share ownership.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathias M. Siems & Michael C. Schouten, 2009. "The Evolution of Ownership Disclosure Rules across Countries," Working Papers wp393, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp393
    Note: PRO-2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. F. Gerard Adams, 2009. "Will Economic Recovery Drive up World Oil Prices?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 10(2), pages 1-26, April.
    2. Ken Coutts & Andrew Glyn & Bob Rowthorn, 2007. "Structural change under New Labour," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(6), pages 845-861, November.
    3. Richard H. Clarida & Manuela Goretti & Mark P. Taylor, 2007. "Are There Thresholds of Current Account Adjustment in the G7?," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 169-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Martin Weale, 2009. "Commentary: Growth Prospects and Financial Services," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 207(1), pages 4-9, January.
    5. Bergsten, C. Fred, 2002. "Can the United States afford the tax cuts of 2001?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 373-380, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Bent Sorensen & Vadym Volosovych, 2014. "Deep Financial Integration And Volatility," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(6), pages 1558-1585, December.
    2. Morck, Randall & Deniz Yavuz, M. & Yeung, Bernard, 2011. "Banking system control, capital allocation, and economy performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 264-283, May.
    3. Christian Fons-Rosen & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Bent E. Sorensen & Carolina Villegas-Sanchez & Vadym Volosovych, 2013. "Quantifying Productivity Gains from Foreign Investment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-058/IV, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Armour, J. & Deakin, S. & Mollica, V. & Siems, M.M., 2010. "Law and Financial Development: What we are learning from time-series evidence," Working Papers wp399, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    5. Stotz, Olaf & Wanzenried, Gabrielle & Döhnert, Karsten, 2010. "Open-market purchases of public equity by private equity investors: Size and home-bias effects," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(6), pages 562-576, November.

    More about this item


    ownership disclosure; shareholder protection; comparative company law; law and finance; legal convergence;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • P50 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp393. 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: (Ruth Newman and Georgie Cohen). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.