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The Anglo-Saxon Approach to Corporate Governance and its Applicability to Emerging Markets

Authors

  • Dennis C. Mueller

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Vienna, Department of Economics, Vienna, Austria
      *University of Vienna, Department of Economics, BWZ, Bruennerstr. 72, A-1210 Vienna, Austria. Tel: +43 1 4277 37484; E-mail: dennis.mueller@univie.ac.at
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*University of Vienna, Department of Economics, BWZ, Bruennerstr. 72, A-1210 Vienna, Austria. Tel: +43 1 4277 37484; E-mail: dennis.mueller@univie.ac.at

Abstract

Almost all firms start out as small, owner-managed companies. Many stay that way throughout their lives. Some create attractive investment opportunities, however, that will allow them to grow rapidly and become leading companies in their country. These firms typically do not have sufficient internal funds flows and must turn to external sources of finance. Among these is the issuance of equity. Once a firm sells shares, however, the cost of the managers engaging in on-the-job consumption falls, and they can be expected to do so at the expense of their shareholders. Knowing this, potential shareholders may be unwilling to purchase a new offering of a young firm’s shares, and the firm with attractive investment opportunities is unable to finance them. Strong corporate governance institutions help to protect shareholders from the discretionary use of their firm’s resources. This paper reviews the case for having strong corporate governance institutions to facilitate the creation of thick equity markets in the context of developing countries in emerging markets, and examines the case for relying on alternative sources of capital including the state.

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