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The Convergence of Disclosure and Governance Practices in the World’s Largest Firms*


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    A previous version of this paper entitled “The Emerging Corporate Governance Model” was presented at the European Accounting Association meeting in Copenhagen; we thank conference participants, in addition to workshop participants at Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Pisa. We also would like to thank Robert Bricker, Santhosh Gowda, and Nisreen Salti. We would especially like to thank Reed Roig and Orhan Celik for their insightful suggestions. We thank Asdghig Karajayerlian for her editing work. Garen Markarian wishes to thank the University of Padova for financial support during the visiting professorship.

***Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, via Del Santo 33, 35121 Padova, Italy. Tel: +39 049 8274261; Fax: +39 049 8274211; E-mail:


Many studies discuss convergence of cross-border governance and governance-related disclosure practices, but provide little empirical evidence to support their arguments and analysis. Our study examines the governance and disclosure practices of the world’s largest transnational firms. Using a unique dataset of 75 large firms in two time periods, 1995 and 2002, we examine both the governance practices, and disclosures regarding those governance practices, across Anglo-Saxon and non-Anglo-Saxon firms. Results indicate that non-Anglo-Saxon firms have developed their governance practices towards promoting an independent mechanism of control, namely a mechanism that is more similar to an Anglo-Saxon governance regime. In regard to governance-related disclosure practices, results indicate that for both Anglo-Saxon and non-Anglo-Saxon groups, disclosure practices have been evolving and converging towards more disclosures regarding governance matters.