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Corporate Governance in Latin America

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  • Alberto Chong

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  • Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes

Abstract

This paper analyzes recent trends in Latin America’s institutional development regarding to investor protection. In spite of the underdevelopment of the region’s financial markets, there is slow movement towards legal reforms intended to protect investors and make regional markets more attractive to investors; current inadequacies in the region’s legal institution’s generate high levels of ownership concentration, poor access to external equity financing, and narrow equity markets. The evidence in this paper, based on firm-level data for six countries, shows that, like legal protection of investors, appropriate firm-level corporate governance is linked to lower costs for capital, better valuation, performance, and dividend payments across countries. Firms can compensate for their countries’ legal deficiencies by distinguishing themselves through improved corporate governance practices, thus increasing transparency and limiting potential conflict between large and minority shareholders. Firms can additionally look for capital by issuing ADRs, as they have in recent years, although this practice undermines local capital markets. In the end, firms and regulators must improve their governance structures and shareholder protections if they are to meet the improved benchmarks of developed nations brought about by Asian, European, and U. S. scandals in recent years.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Chong & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, 2007. "Corporate Governance in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4494, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4494
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    Cited by:

    1. González, Maximiliano & Guzmán, Alexander & Pombo, Carlos & Trujillo, María Andréa, 2013. "Corporate governance mechanisms in family firms: Evidence from CEO turnovers," Galeras. Working Papers Series 037, Universidad de Los Andes. Facultad de Administración. School of Management.
    2. González, Maximiliano & Guzmán, Alexander & Pombo, Carlos & Trujillo, María-Andrea, 2012. "Family firms and financial performance: The cost of growing," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 626-649.
    3. repec:eee:fambus:v:8:y:2017:i:4:p:237-247 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Pombo, Carlos & Gutiérrez, Luis H., 2011. "Outside directors, board interlocks and firm performance: Empirical evidence from Colombian business groups," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 251-277, July.
    5. Gutiérrez, Luis & Pombo, Carlos, 2008. "Capital markets and corporate governance in Colombia," Galeras. Working Papers Series 025, Universidad de Los Andes. Facultad de Administración. School of Management.
    6. Alberto Chong & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, 2007. "Gobierno Corporativo en América Latina," Research Department Publications 4495, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    7. García-Meca, Emma & García-Sánchez, Isabel-María & Martínez-Ferrero, Jennifer, 2015. "Board diversity and its effects on bank performance: An international analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 202-214.
    8. Maximiliano González & Alexander Guzmán & Diego Fernando Tellez & María Andrea Trujillo, 2016. "What you say and how you say it: Information disclosure in Latin American firms," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 015656, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    9. Brau, James C. & Rodríguez, Javier, 2009. "An empirical analysis of Mexican and US closed-end mutual fund IPOs," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-17, January.

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