Financial Valuation of the German (Regional) Model: The Negative Relationship Between Ownership Concentration and Stock Market Returns, 1997-2001
Gordon L. Clark
Oxford University - Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment
University of Oxford, St. Peter's College
Believed to be a robust alternative to Anglo-American market capitalism, the virtues of the German model are increasingly disputed as doubts are raised about its long-term prospects. At the core of the German model is a system of corporate governance characterized by concentrated ownership and cross-holdings of stocks amongst related firms and their financial service providers. When combined with worker representation on corporate supervisory boards, concentrated ownership is thought to encourage longer-term competitive and investment strategy. Using a unique data set on German corporate voting rights and insights gleaned from intensive interviews with German and international financial institutions, we analyse daily stock market prices over the period 1997 to 2001, testing for the value attributed to concentrated ownership by financial markets. We show that financial markets discount ownership concentration in ways consistent with Anglo-American conceptions of shareholder value rather than the logic of the German model. There is a significant negative relationship between ownership concentration and the average daily rate of return (as measured by closing stock market prices). This is an important finding for firms in the DAX 100, and is most pronounced for firms in the DAX 30. Implications of these findings for the continued significance of distinctive regional systems of accumulation are considered in the final sections of the paper.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: German model, ownership concentration, stock returns, regions
JEL Classification: G14, G30, R10working papers series
Date posted: June 5, 2003
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