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Investor Protections and Concentrated Ownership: Assessing Corporate Control Mechanisms in the Netherlands

Author

Listed:
  • Robert S. Chirinko
  • Hans van Ees
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Elmer Sterken

Abstract

The Berle-Means problem - information and incentive asymmetries disrupting relations between knowledgeable managers and remote investors - has remained a durable issue engaging researchers since the 1930's. However, the Berle-Means paradigm - widely-dispersed, helpless investors facing strong, entrenched managers - is under stress in the wake of the cross-country evidence presented by La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, Shleifer, and Vishny and their legal approach to corporate control. This paper continues to investigate the roles of investor protections and concentrated ownership by examining firm behaviour in the Netherlands. Our within country analysis generates two key results. First, the role of investor protections emphasized in the legal approach is not sustained. Rather, we find that performance is enhanced when the firm is freed of equity market constraints, a result that we attribute to the relaxation of the myopia constraints imposed by relatively uninformed investors. Second, ownership concentration does not have a discernible impact on firm performance, which may reflect large shareholders' dual role in lowering the costs of managerial agency problems but raising the agency costs of expropriation.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert S. Chirinko & Hans van Ees & Harry Garretsen & Elmer Sterken, 2003. "Investor Protections and Concentrated Ownership: Assessing Corporate Control Mechanisms in the Netherlands," CESifo Working Paper Series 864, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_864
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael E. Porter, 1992. "Capital Choices: Changing The Way America Invests In Industry," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 5(2), pages 4-16.
    2. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-338, May.
    3. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    4. Mark J. Roe, 1997. "The Political Roots Of American Corporate Finance," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 9(4), pages 8-22.
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    6. Jeremy S. S. Edwards & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2004. "Ownership Concentration and Share Valuation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(2), pages 143-171, May.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
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    11. Kaplan, Steven N, 1994. "Top Executive Rewards and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Japan and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 510-546, June.
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    14. Abe de Jongand & Rezaul Kabir & Teye Marra & Ailsa Roell, 1999. "Ownership and Control in the Netherlands," Working Papers 1999.22, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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    Cited by:

    1. de Jong, Abe & DeJong, Douglas V. & Mertens, Gerard & Wasley, Charles E., 2005. "The role of self-regulation in corporate governance: evidence and implications from The Netherlands," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 473-503, June.
    2. Degryse, Hans & de Jong, Abe, 2006. "Investment and internal finance: Asymmetric information or managerial discretion?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 125-147, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General

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