The Determinants of Corporate Ownership Structure: Australian Evidence

43 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2001

See all articles by Asjeet S. Lamba

Asjeet S. Lamba

University of Melbourne; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Geofrey P. Stapledon

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: July 2001


There is growing interest in trying to explain differing corporate ownership structures in different countries. La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, Shleifer and Vishny (1998) find that the quality of legal protection of shareholders helps determine ownership concentration: in countries with relatively poor legal protection of investors, publicly listed companies are likely to have large blockholders. In contrast, Roe (2000) seeks to explain ownership differences in terms of politics and finds that publicly listed companies in social democracies are more likely to have concentrated ownership than their counterparts in the (non-socially democratic) United States. Bebchuk (1999a, 1999b) develops a model which predicts that the proportion of a country's publicly listed firms having a controlling shareholder depends on the size of private benefits of control in the corporate sector. Bebchuk extends his model to explain differences in ownership structure among companies in the same country. The model indicates that a company is more likely to have a large blockholder when the private benefits of control potentially available to a blockholder at that company are comparatively large. This paper examines the factors associated with ownership structure among publicly listed Australian companies. The results indicate that private benefits of control help explain the differences in ownership structure among Australian companies.

JEL Classification: G32, G34, K22

Suggested Citation

Lamba, Asjeet S. and Stapledon, Geofrey P., The Determinants of Corporate Ownership Structure: Australian Evidence (July 2001). U of Melbourne Public Law Research Paper No. 20; EFMA 2002 London Meeting; Tuck-JFQA Contemporary Corporate Governance Issues II: International Corporate Governance Conference. Available at SSRN: or

Asjeet S. Lamba

University of Melbourne ( email )

Department of Finance
Faculty of Business and Economics
Parkville, Victoria 3010
(61 3) 8344-7011 (Phone)
(61 3) 8344-6914 (Fax)


Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane


Geofrey P. Stapledon (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

Victoria 3010
+61 3 8344 8916 (Phone)
+61 3 8344 9971 (Fax)

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