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The Political Economy of Bank- and Market Dominance

  • Enrico Perotti
  • Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden

Legislation affects corporate governance and the return to human and financial capital. We allow the preference of a political majority to determine both the governance structure and the extent of labor rents. In a society where median voters have relatively more at stake in the form of human capital rather than financial wealth, they prefer a less risky environment even when this reduces profits, as labor rents are exposed to undiversifiable firm-specific risk. In general, labor and lenders prefer less corporate risk, since their claims are a concave function of firm profitability. This congruence of interests can lead the political majority to support bank over equity dominance. As shareholdings by the median voters increase, the dominance structure will move towards favoring equity markets with riskier corporate strategies and higher profits.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 02.14.

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Length: 40 pp.
Date of creation: Mar 2002
Date of revision: Apr 2003
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:02.14
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne

Phone: ++41 21 692.33.20
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  1. Claessens, Stijn & Klapper, Leora F., 2002. "Bankruptcy around the world - explanations of its relative use," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2865, The World Bank.
  2. Gorton, Gary & Schmid, Frank A., 2000. "Universal banking and the performance of German firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 29-80.
  3. Gilles Saint Paul, 1999. "The political economy of employment protection," Economics Working Papers 355, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. 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.
  5. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  6. Welch, Ivo, 1997. "Why Is Bank Debt Senior? A Theory of Asymmetry and Claim Priority Based on Influence Costs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 1203-36.
  7. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, June.
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