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To Steal or Not to Steal: Firm Attributes, Legal Environment, and Valuation

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Listed:
  • Durnev, Art
  • Kim, E. Han

Abstract

Data on corporate governance and disclosure practices reveal wide within-country variation that decreases with the strength of investors' legal protection. A simple model identifies three firm attributes related to that variation: investment opportunities, external financing, and ownership structure. Using firm-level governance and transparency data in 27 countries, we find that all three firm attributes are related to the quality of governance and disclosure practices and that firms with higher governance and transparency rankings are valued higher in stock markets. All relations are stronger in less investor-friendly countries, demonstrating that firms adapt to poor legal environments to establish efficient governance practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Durnev, Art & Kim, E. Han, 2004. "To Steal or Not to Steal: Firm Attributes, Legal Environment, and Valuation," CEI Working Paper Series 2004-7, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2004-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 265, OECD Publishing.
    2. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    3. T. S. Breusch & A. R. Pagan, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 239-253.
    4. Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, "undated". "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    5. Stijn Claessens & Simeon Djankov & Joseph P. H. Fan & Larry H. P. Lang, 2002. "Disentangling the Incentive and Entrenchment Effects of Large Shareholdings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2741-2771, December.
    6. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
    7. Randall Morck & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1986. "Management Ownership and Corporate Performance: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 2055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate Governance; Investment Opportunities; External Financing; Ownership; Legal Environment; Valuation;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law

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