Mr. Kenichi Ueda, Mr. Gianni De Nicolo, and Mr. Luc Laeven
This paper constructs a composite index of corporate governance quality, documents its evolution from 1994 through 2003 in selected emerging and developed economies, and assesses its impact on aggregate and corporate growth and productivity. Our investigation yields three main findings. First, corporate governance quality in most countries has overall improved, although to varying degrees and with a few notable exceptions. Second, the data exhibit cross-country convergence in corporate governance quality with countries that score poorly initially catching up with countries with high corporate governance scores. Third, the impact of improvements in corporate governance quality on traditional measures of real economic activity-GDP growth, productivity growth, and the ratio of investment to GDP- is positive, significant, and quantitatively relevant, and the growth effect is particularly pronounced for industries that are most dependent on external finance.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in Emerging Europe’s economies,
notably in the energy and transport sectors. Based on a new firm-level dataset, this paper
reviews the SOE landscape, assesses SOE performance across countries and vis-à-vis
private firms, and evaluates recent SOE governance reform experience in 11 Emerging
European countries, as well as Sweden as a benchmark. Profitability and efficiency of
resource allocation of SOEs lag those of private firms in most sectors, with substantial
cross-country variation. Poor SOE performance raises three main risks: large and risky
contingent liabilities could stretch public finances; sizeable state ownership of banks
coupled with poor governance could threaten financial stability; and negative productivity
spillovers could affect the economy at large. SOE governance frameworks are partly weak
and should be strengthened along three lines: fleshing out a consistent ownership policy;
giving teeth to financial oversight; and making SOE boards more professional.
We examine the extent to which regulations of entry and credit access are related to competition using data on 28 manufacturing sectors across 64 countries. A robust finding is that bureaucratic and costly entry regulations tend to hamper competition, as proxied by the price-cost margin, in the industries with a naturally high entry rate. Rigid entry regulations are also associated with a larger average firm size. Conversely, credit information registries are associated with lower price-cost margin and smaller average firm size in industries that rely heavily on external finance—consistent with access to finance exerting a positive effect on competition. These results suggest that incumbent firms are likely to enjoy the rent and market share arising from strict entry regulations, whereas regulations enhancing access to credit limit such benefits.
Rui Albuquerque, Mr. Luis Brandao-Marques, Miguel A. Ferreira, and Pedro Matos
We develop and test the hypothesis that foreign direct investment promotes corporate governance spillovers in the host country. Using firm-level data on cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and corporate governance in 22 countries, we find that cross-border M&As are associated with subsequent improvements in the governance, valuation, and productivity of the target firms’ local rivals. This positive spillover effect is stronger when the acquirer is from a country with stronger shareholder protection and if the target’s industry is more competitive. We conclude that the international market for corporate control promotes the adoption of better corporate governance practices around the world.