IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Shareholder Protection and the Cost of Capital Empirical Evidence from German and Italian Firms



We investigate implications for the cost of capital in a model with agency conflicts between inside and outside shareholders, where the severity of agency costs depends on a parameter representing investor protection. Using firm-level data for Italy and Germany we find significant differences in shareholder protection and its implications for the firm’s ownership structure and the cost of capital. Results indicate that concentrated inside ownership increases the cost of capital for Italian firms while having no significant impact on the cost of capital for German firms. Evidence also suggests bank influence in Germany may serve to reduce investor risk for outside shareholders. In contrast, the magnitude of capital stock distortions is found to be quite important in Italy. Overall, slow growth in continental Europe may be more closely linked to institutional differences in shareholder protection between countries rather than inside ownership of firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Julie Ann Elston & Laura Rondi, 2006. "Shareholder Protection and the Cost of Capital Empirical Evidence from German and Italian Firms," CERIS Working Paper 200608, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:200608

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    2. Shleifer, Andrei & Wolfenzon, Daniel, 2002. "Investor protection and equity markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 3-27, October.
    3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
    4. Marco Pagano & Fabio Panetta & and Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 27-64, February.
    5. Chirinko, R-S & Elston, J-A, 1997. "Finance, Control, and Profitability : An Evaluation of German Bank Influence," Papers 28, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
    6. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-488, June.
    7. Simon Gilchrist & Charles Himmelberg, 1999. "Investment: Fundamentals and Finance," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 223-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    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. Mueller, Elisabeth, 2008. "How does owners' exposure to idiosyncratic risk influence the capital structure of private companies?," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 185-198, March.
    11. Robert Carpenter & Laura Rondi, 2006. "Going Public to Grow? Evidence from a Panel of Italian Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 387-407, December.
    12. 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, April.
    13. Levine, Ross, 1999. "Law, Finance, and Economic Growth," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 8(1-2), pages 8-35, January.
    14. 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.
    15. Marco Becht & Fabrizio Barca, 2001. "The control of corporate Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13302, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    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. Cristian Bartolucci & Francesco Devicienti, 2012. "Better Workers Move to Better Firms: A Simple Test to Identify Sorting," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 259, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. David Card & Francesco Devicienti & Agata Maida, 2014. "Rent-sharing, Holdup, and Wages: Evidence from Matched Panel Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 84-111.
    3. Elston, Julie Ann & Yang, J. Jimmy, 2010. "Venture capital, ownership structure, accounting standards and IPO underpricing: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(6), pages 517-536, November.

    More about this item


    Shareholder protection; ownership structure; cost of capital; agency costs; underinvestment;

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance


    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:csc:cerisp:200608. 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: (Anna Perin) or (Giancarlo Birello). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.