Competition and Ownership Structure of Closely-Held Firms
Review of Financial Studies (2017)
86 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2013 Last revised: 7 Feb 2018
Date Written: May 8, 2017
We study how product market competition affects firms’ ownership structures using a large sample of closely-held firms in 18 European countries. We show that firms operating in more competitive environments have lower inside ownership and that the stakes of their outside shareholders are more dispersed. These results are explained by competition increasing the need to raise external equity and reducing private control benefits. Our findings suggest that, by changing corporate ownership structure, competition mitigates incentive misalignment among shareholders, leading to better firm performance and gains in economic efficiency.
Keywords: Ownership structure, closely-held firms, inside ownership, ownership concentration, product market competition, corporate governance
JEL Classification: G32, F14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation