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Legal Origin and Size Effects in European Listed Firms

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  • Per-Olof Bjuggren

    ()

  • Andreas Högberg

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of legal tradition and firm size on investment performance for firms in 16 European countries. Europe as a region is of special interest in this sense since the legal systems differs widely within a concentrated geographical area. Anglo Saxon, German, French as well as Scandinavian variants of legal systems can be found in representative forms in Europe. Previous studies suggest that minority shareholders enjoy a higher degree of property rights in common law (Anglo Saxon) countries compared to civil law (French, German and Scandinavian) countries. Expropriation of minority shareholders may be observed as excessively large organizations and non transparent hierarchies of the management in the firm. This study differs from earlier studies by concentrating on the firm size and its effects on investment performance by connecting it to the legal origin in each of the 16 European countries included in the study. We find a negative relation between firm size and performance as expected for civil law countries and no effect for common law countries. However, for individual countries, the effects of firm size and legal origin on investment performance is ambiguous

Suggested Citation

  • Per-Olof Bjuggren & Andreas Högberg, 2011. "Legal Origin and Size Effects in European Listed Firms," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1488, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p1488
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    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa10/ERSA2010finalpaper1488.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrei Shleifer & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Rafael La Porta, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June.
    2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-591, July.
    3. Bjuggren, Per-Olof & Wiberg, Daniel, 2005. "Industry Specific Effects in Investment Performance and Valuation of Firms - Marginal q in a Stock Market Bubble," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 45, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:30747191 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Gugler, Klaus & Yurtoglu, Burcin B., 2003. "Average q, marginal q, and the relation between ownership and performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 379-384, March.
    8. Per-Olof Bjuggren & Daniel Wiberg, 2008. "Industry specific effects in investment performance and valuation of firms," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 279-291, July.
    9. 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.
    10. Rafael La porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2002. "Investor Protection and Corporate Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1147-1170, June.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Sonja Fagernäs & Prabirjit Sarkar & Ajit Singh, 2008. "Legal Origin, Shareholder Protection and the Stock Market: New Challenges from Time Series Analysis," Chapters,in: The Economics of Corporate Governance and Mergers, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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