Corporate Governance: A Survey Of Oecd Countries by Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development

By Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development

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The efforts on the part of enterprises to improve their own corporate governance arrangements is only now becoming clearer with the development of indicators by a number of private bodies. In dealing with corporate governance issues, member countries have used a varying combination of legal and regulatory instruments on the one hand, and voluntary codes and principles on the other. In some instances, the latter are backed by legal or regulatory obligations to “comply or explain”. The balance between law, regulation and voluntary principles varies widely in the OECD area depending in part on history, legal traditions, efficiency of the courts, the political structure of the country and the stage of enterprise development.

This dependent variable has the advantage of picking up excess investment, which might be a problem in regimes with poor corporate governance, and in reducing the role of market measures of corporate value. Investment includes R&D and advertising expenditures which can produce intangible capital. A potential weakness of the study is the unavoidable use of an average rate of return on investment instead of the theoretically more appropriate marginal rate. The sample comprises 19 000 firms in 61 countries over the period 1985-2000, although the sample with ownership data was much smaller and the time period more restricted.

The sample comprises 19 000 firms in 61 countries over the period 1985-2000, although the sample with ownership data was much smaller and the time period more restricted. The ownership variables included shareholding by management, the extent of cross shareholding by other firms, and the extent of pyramiding including the deviation of cash flows from voting 28 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: A SURVEY OF OECD COUNTRIES – ISBN 92-64-10605-7 – © OECD 2004 1. 3. ) rights. On average, only around 30 per cent of firms have ownership structures with no deviation of cash flow from voting rights.

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