The Separation of Ownership and Control in East Asian Corporations

47 Pages Posted: 23 May 2000

See all articles by Stijn Claessens

Stijn Claessens

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

Simeon Djankov

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Larry H.P. Lang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Finance

Date Written: November 23, 1999

Abstract

We examine the separation of ownership and control for 2,980 corporations in nine East Asian countries. In all countries, voting rights frequently exceed cash-flow rights via pyramid structures and cross-holdings. The separation of ownership and control is most pronounced among family-controlled firms and small firms. More than two-thirds of firms are controlled by a single shareholder. Managers of closely held firms tend to be relatives of the controlling shareholder's family. Older firms are generally family-controlled, dispelling the notion that ownership becomes dispersed over time. Finally, significant corporate wealth in East Asia is concentrated among a few families.

JEL Classification: G34

Suggested Citation

Claessens, Stijn and Djankov, Simeon and Lang, Hsien Ping Larry, The Separation of Ownership and Control in East Asian Corporations (November 23, 1999). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=206448 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.206448

Stijn Claessens

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) ( email )

Centralbahnplatz 2
CH-4002 Basel
Switzerland

Simeon Djankov (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Hsien Ping Larry Lang

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Finance ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
+85 2 2609 7761 (Phone)
+85 2 2603 6586 (Fax)

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