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  • Corporate Finance and Governance: Government Policy and Regulation x
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Ernesto Crivelli, Ruud A. de Mooij, J. E. J. De Vrijer, Mr. Shafik Hebous, and Mr. Alexander D Klemm
This paper aims to contribute to the European policy debate on corporate income tax reform in three ways. First, it takes a step back to review the performance of the CIT in Europe over the past several decades and the important role played by MNEs in European economies. Second, it analyses corporate tax spillovers in Europe with a focus on the channels and magnitudes of both profit shifting and CIT competition. Third, the paper examines the progress made in European CIT coordination and discusses reforms to strengthen the harmonization of corporate tax policies, in order to effectively reduce both tax competition and profit shifting.
Mr. Wim Fonteyne
This paper explains the continuing success of European cooperative banks through evolving comparative advantages. It points out that a cooperative is built around an intergenerational endowment without final owners, which creates particular governance challenges. Risks include the use of the endowment for purposes other than members' best interest, such as empire-building, and attempts at appropriation. The risk of empire-building is reinforced by mechanisms that foster capital accumulation and asymmetric opportunities for consolidation. The paper concludes that some form of independent external oversight of corporate governance is warranted and that cooperatives need mechanisms enabling them to better manage their capital.
Mr. Iryna V. Ivaschenko and Ms. Petya Koeva Brooks
This paper proposes a new approach to quantifying the effects of corporate governance reforms, by focusing on the dynamics of the voting premiums, a measure of the private benefits of control in a corporation. The results indicate that the reforms have been successful in reducing the voting premiums EU-wide. Moreover, more intense and broad reform efforts (such as introducing national reforms beyond and above the EU-wide initiatives) bring higher and longer lasting benefits. Our findings also suggest that the market for corporate control in Europe has become more integrated, as illustrated by the lower dispersion in voting premiums across countries and over time.
Kentaro Asai
This paper develops a theoretical framework to study the impact of bonus caps on banks’ risk taking. In the model, labor market price adjustments can offset the direct effects of bonus caps. The calibrated model suggests that bonus caps are only effective when bank executives’ mobility is restricted. It also suggests, irrespective of the degree of labor market mobility, bonus caps simultaneously reduce risk shifting by bank executives (too much risk taking because of limited liability), but aggravate underinvestment (bank executives foregoing risky but productive projects). Hence, the welfare effects of bonus caps critically depend on initial conditions, including the relative importance of risk shifting versus underinvestment.
Yishay Yafeh, Mr. Kenichi Ueda, and Mr. Stijn Claessens
Financial frictions have been identified as key factors affecting economic fluctuations and growth. But, can institutional reforms reduce financial frictions? Based on a canonical investment model, we consider two potential channels: (i) financial transaction costs at the firm level; and (ii) required return at the country level. We empirically investigate the effects of institutions on these financial frictions using a panel of 75,000 firm-years across 48 countries for the period 1990 - 2007. We find that improved corporate governance (e.g., less informational problems) and enhanced contractual enforcement reduce financial frictions, while stronger creditor rights (e.g., lower collateral constraints) are less important.
Mariusz Jarmuzek and Mr. Tonny Lybek
This paper argues that better governance practices can reduce the costs, risks and uncertainty of financial intermediation. Our sample covers high-, middle- and low-income countries before and after the global financial crisis (GFC). We find that net interest margins of banks are lower if various governance indicators are better. More cross-border lending also appears conducive to lower intermediation costs, while the level of capital market development is not significant. The GFC seems not to have had a strong impact except via credit risk. Finally, we estimate the size of potential gains from improved governance.
Mr. John C Bluedorn, Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Mr. Romain A Duval, Davide Furceri, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, Yi Ji, Davide Malacrino, Mr. Haonan Qu, Jesse Siminitz, and Ms. Aleksandra Zdzienicka
Cross-country differences in economic resilience—in an economy’s ability to withstand and adjust to shocks—remain significant in the euro area. In part, the differences reflect the lack of a national nominal exchange rate as a mechanism to adjust to shocks. The IMF staff has argued that union-wide architectural changes such as the banking union, the capital markets union, and a central fiscal capacity can help foster greater international risk sharing. Yet even these changes cannot insure against all shocks. National policies thus have a vital role to play. This IMF staff discussion note analyzes how national structural policies can help euro area countries better deal with economic shocks. Using a mix of empirical and modeling approaches, the note finds that growth-enhancing reforms to labor and product market regulations, tailored to country-specific circumstances, would help individual euro area economies weather adverse shocks. Higher-quality insolvency regimes are associated with more efficient factor reallocation following a shock. The note also finds that structural and cyclical policies interact. Greater rigidities make economies more fragile, putting a higher burden on fiscal policy. This is especially true for members of a monetary union. Countries should build fiscal space in good times and tackle rigidities, reducing their need for countercyclical policies in bad times while making countercyclical policies more effective when deployed.
Ruben Lamdany and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz


The papers in this volume draw on background work done in preparation for the study Governance of the IMF: An Evaluation, Independent Evaluation Office, International Monetary Fund, May 28, 2008 (available at This compilation presents in one collection the most recent work to date on the subject of governance of the IMF and contributes to the ongoing dialogue on how best to strengthen the governance of this important global institution. Good governance can contribute to the IMF’s legitimacy by ensuring appropriate voice and representation for the membership, by allowing the Fund to fulfill its mandates effectively and efficiently, and by facilitating accountability for relevant stakeholders. Three main conclusions follow from the studies in this volume. First, to strengthen its legitimacy and effectiveness, the Fund needs greater, higher level and more transparent involvement of member country authorities in its governance. Second, the Board needs to play a stronger role in strategy development and oversight, which requires a shift away from the day-to-day business of the organization. Finally, there are significant accountability gaps that need to be addressed if the IMF is to remain effective and regain legitimacy.