Institutional Quality and Dark Side of Product Market Competition: A Cross-Country Study
28 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2023
Date Written: June 1, 2022
The authors examine the joint effect of the country-wide legal institutions and product market competition on stock crash risk in a large sample of international firms.
In the study, the authors examine whether the country-level institutional factors affect product market competition's impact on stock crash risk. Specifically, the authors characterize country-wide institutional quality with individual governance indices developed in earlier studies and also adopt the worldwide board reforms as a proxy for the change in firms' governance environment.
The authors find that strong institutions mitigate the positive relationship between product market competition and stock crash risk in the international setting. In addition, the authors find that institutional quality moderates the effect of product market competition on stock crash risk via the information channel, i.e. although firms in competitive industries manage and report earnings more aggressively, strong institutions or board reforms, curtail managers' incentive to do so.
The authors’ findings lend support to the dark side of product market competition with a broader sample from 35 countries. In light of this, when earlier studies consider firms from competitive (concentrated) industries as having less (more) severe agency problems, future studies should consider the agency costs associated with product market competition for both the US firms and non-US firms. Furthermore, when it is debatable that regulators are self-interested, captured, uninformed and thus the regulations and institutions may not be fully effective as a result, this study demonstrates the effectiveness of institutions in ex ante mitigating agency conflicts associated with product market competition.
Keywords: Product market competition, Stock crash risk, Information disclosure, Institutional quality
JEL Classification: G32, K22, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation