Johan E. Eklund (2008)

Corporate Governance, Private Property and Investment

Corporations have become the dominant organizational form in modern market economies, managing vast resources. Corporations are however associated with a number of governance problems. This dissertation deals with these corporate governance issues from an investment perspective. The dissertation comprises one introductory chapter and five, from each other independent, essays. These essays can be read independently, but are kept together by a corporate governance and investment theme. The essays mainly contribute to the empirical literature on corporate governance and investment behavior. In chapter 2 a measure of capital allocation, based on the acceleration principle, is estimated across 44 countries. Capital allocation is compared to ownership concentration and indicators of corporate governance. Support for the so-called economic entrenchment hypothesis is found, whereas the legal origin hypothesis is rejected. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 look at corporate governance and investment in Scandinavia, and Sweden in particular. Chapters 3 and 4 look into how ownership concentration affects firm investment performance. Performance is measured with marginal q. How dual-class shares affect this ownership-performance relationship is examined. Dual-class shares are, in chapter 4, found to reduce the so-called incentive effect and enhance the so-called entrenchment effect. The role of profit retentions for investment is examined in chapter 5. Scandinavian firms are found to rely on earning retentions to a higher degree than firms in other countries. Chapter 6 contains an analysis of how the quality of property rights and investor protection affect the cost of capital.