Agency Conflicts, Ownership Concentration, and Legal Shareholder Protection
Posted: 1 Mar 2006
This paper analyzes the interaction between legal shareholder protection, managerial incentives, monitoring, and ownership concentration. Legal protection affects the expropriation of shareholders and the blockholder's incentives to monitor. Because monitoring weakens managerial incentives, both effects jointly determine the relationship between legal protection and ownership concentration. When legal protection facilitates monitoring better laws strengthen the monitoring incentives, and ownership concentration and legal protection are inversely related. By contrast, when legal protection and monitoring are substitutes better laws weaken the monitoring incentives, and the relationship between legal protection and ownership concentration is non monotonic. This holds irrespective of whether or not the large shareholder can reap private benefits. Moreover, better legal protection may exacerbate rather than alleviate the conflict of interest between large and small shareholders.
Keywords: Ownership concentration, legal protection, agency conflicts
JEL Classification: G34
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