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Corporate Governance in Costa Rica

  • Gilberto E. Arce
  • Edgar Robles C.
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines corporate governance practices in Costa Rica. First, it estimates corporate governance charter measures using firm-level data for 87 Costa Rican firms and studies their impact on the firms` performance; here, the mean of the corporate governance charters for the publicly traded firms is equal to 56. 14. Second, new evidence is presented on de jure and de facto corporate governance charter measures at the firm level and on their effect on the performance of the firm. The results indicate that de facto corporate governance is better than de jure corporate governance. These results suggest that firms must implement a set of additional measures to compensate for the weakness of the legal environment. Also, evidence is presented that better corporate governance and charter measures are associated with superior firm performance. Third, this paper examines the final controllers of publicly and non-publicly traded firms and links them with their dividend policies. Family firms are common in Costa Rica and are not necessarily linked to better firm performance. Fourth, the ownership evolution of Costa Rican firms is studied. Finally, changes in the Commercial Code are examined from a good corporate governance practices view.

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    File URL: http://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=R-519&pub_file_name=pubR-519.pdf
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    Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3218.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3218
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    1. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1768, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
      • Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
      • Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Klapper, Leora F. & Love, Inessa, 2004. "Corporate governance, investor protection, and performance in emerging markets," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 703-728, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1991. "The Effects of Board Composition and Direct Incentives on Firm Performance," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 20(4), Winter.
    5. Daniel Berkowitz & Katharina Pistor & Jean-Francois Richard, 2000. "Economic Development, Legality, and the Transplant Effect," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 308, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    6. Johnson, Simon & Boone, Peter & Breach, Alasdair & Friedman, Eric, 2000. "Corporate governance in the Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 141-186.
    7. Bengt Holmstrom & Steven N. Kaplan, 2003. "The State of U.S. Corporate Governance: What's Right and What's Wrong?," NBER Working Papers 9613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Mike Burkart & Fausto Panunzi & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Family Firms," NBER Working Papers 8776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Mike Burkart & Fausto Panunzi & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "Family Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2167-2202, October.
    9. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1741, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    10. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    11. Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Corporate Governance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 1-35, January.
    12. Paul A. Gompers & Joy L. Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2002. "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-32, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    13. Charles P. Oman, 2001. "Corporate Governance and National Development," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 180, OECD Publishing.
    14. Alexander Monge-Naranjo & Javier Cascante & Luis J. Hall, 2001. "Enforcement, Contract Design, and Default: Exploring the Financial Markets of Costa Rica," Research Department Publications 3126, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    15. Bengt Holmstrom & Steven N. Kaplan, 2001. "Corporate Governance and Merger Activity in the United States: Making Sense of the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 121-144, Spring.
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