Legal Determinants of External Finance

Authors

  • RAFAEL LA PORTA,

  • FLORENCIO LOPEZ-DE-SILANES,

  • ANDREI SHLEIFER,

  • ROBERT W. VISHNY

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    • La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, and Shleifer are from Harvard University, and Vishny is from the University of Chicago. We are grateful to Alex Chang, Mark Chen, and Magdalena Lopez-Morton for research assistance, to Ed Glaeser, Stewart Myers, and Luigi Zingales for helpful comments, and to the HIID and the National Science Foundation for support of this research.


ABSTRACT

Using a sample of 49 countries, we show that countries with poorer investor protections, measured by both the character of legal rules and the quality of law enforcement, have smaller and narrower capital markets. These findings apply to both equity and debt markets. In particular, French civil law countries have both the weakest investor protections and the least developed capital markets, especially as compared to common law countries.

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