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Corporate Ownership Structure and Performance in Europe

  • Jeremy Grant
  • Thomas Kirchmaier
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    In this paper, we show that ownership structures vary considerably across Europe, and that the dominant form ofownership is not necessarily the most efficient one. These findings are in contradiction to similar research basedon US samples. The results also demonstrate that firms without a dominant shareholder tend to outperform theircountry peer groups. We base our analysis on a new and unique dataset of uniform ownership data of the largest100 firms in the five major European economies. We quantify the differences in ownership by comparing threedistinct ownership structures of firms and relating them to performance. For the first time we employ aHodrick-Prescott Filter, a methodology widely used in macroeconomics to isolate the trend growth componentsfrom cyclical fluctuations, to estimate the share price trend of each firm. We take this trend as a good indirectindicator of the quality of governance.

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    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0631.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0631
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    1. Luigi Zingales & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2003. "Banks and Markets: The Changing Character of European Finance," NBER Working Papers 9595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    3. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1999. "A Rent-Protection Theory of Corporate Ownership and Control," NBER Working Papers 7203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1993. "Low frequency filtering and real business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 207-231.
    5. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    6. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1987. "One Share/One Vote and The Market for Corporate Control," Working papers 440, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    7. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
    8. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, 04.
    9. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    10. Marco Becht & Fabrizio Barca, 2001. "The control of corporate Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13302, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1741, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    12. Dyck, Alexander & Zingales, Luigi, 2002. "Private Benefits of Control: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 3177, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "Democratization or Repression?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2278, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. 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.
    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. Roll, Richard, 1983. "On computing mean returns and the small firm premium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 371-386, November.
    17. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
    18. Stoll, Hans R. & Whaley, Robert E., 1983. "Transaction costs and the small firm effect," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 57-79, June.
    19. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
    20. Demsetz, Harold & Villalonga, Belen, 2001. "Ownership structure and corporate performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 209-233, September.
    21. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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