We document positive valuation effects around the time of stock market liberalization. We find that the valuation effects are larger for countries with civil law traditions compared with countries with common law origins. Similarly, we find that countries with weaker shareholder protections exhibit greater market valuation increases compared with countries with stronger shareholder protections. The results reinforce the importance of country legal systems and of shareholder protections in determining the quality of corporate governance systems and financial market outcomes. The findings suggest that stock market liberalization may mitigate deficiencies in the existing institutional environments not supportive of effective corporate governance systems.