Equity Market Liberalization and Corporate Governance
43 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2010 Last revised: 25 Jul 2014
Date Written: August 1, 2010
Equity market liberalizations open up domestic stock markets to foreign investors. A puzzle in the literature is why developing countries exhibit relatively small financial impacts associated with liberalizations. We use cross-firm variation in corporate governance at the time of the official liberalization of the equity market in Korea to test whether governance can explain the extent to which firms benefit when countries liberalize. The results show that better-governed firms experience significantly greater stock price increases upon equity market liberalization. Following the liberalization in Korea, foreign ownership in firms with strong corporate governance was significantly higher than that in firms with weak governance. Better-governed firms also exhibit higher rates of physical capital accumulation after liberalization.
Keywords: equity market liberalization, risk sharing, cost of capital, corporate governance
JEL Classification: D23, G21, G32, K42
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