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La Porta, Rafael

Overview
Works: 38 works in 254 publications in 2 languages and 1,628 library holdings
Genres: History 
Classifications: HB1, 330.072
Publication Timeline
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Publications about Rafael La Porta
Publications by Rafael La Porta
Most widely held works by Rafael La Porta
The quality of government by Rafael La Porta( Book )
15 editions published in 1998 in English and Swedish and held by 105 libraries worldwide
We investigate empirically the determinants of the quality of governments in a large cross-section of countries. We assess government performance using measures of government intervention, public sector efficiency, public good provision, size of government, and political freedom. We find that countries that are poor, close to the equator, ethnolinguistically heterogeneous, use French of socialist laws, or have high proportions of Catholics or Muslims exhibit inferior government performance. We also find that the larger governments tend to be the better performing ones. The importance of historical factors in explaining the variation in government performance across countries sheds light on the economic, political, and cultural theories of institutions
Law and finance ( Book )
14 editions published between 1996 and 1997 in English and held by 105 libraries worldwide
This paper examines legal rules covering protection of corporate shareholders and creditors, the origin of these rules, and the quality of their enforcement in 49 countries. The results show that common law countries generally have the best, and French civil law countries the worst, legal protections of investors, with German and Scandinavian civil law countries located in the middle. We also find that concentration of ownership of shares in the largest public companies is negatively related to investor protections, consistent with the hypothesis that small, diversified shareholders are unlikely to be important in countries that fail to protect their rights
The benefits of privatization : evidence from Mexico by Rafael La Porta( Book )
13 editions published between 1997 and 2001 in English and held by 104 libraries worldwide
Criticisms of privatization have centered around the possibility that the observed higher profitability of privatized companies comes at the expense of the rest of society. In this paper we focus on two of the most likely channels for social losses: (1) increased prices as firms capitalize on the market power; and (2) layoffs and lower wages as firms seek to roll back generous labor contracts. Using data for all 218 non-financial privatizations that took place in Mexico between 1983 and 1991 we find that privatized firms quickly bridge the pre-privatization performance gap with industry-matched control groups. For example, privatization is followed by a 24 percentage point increase in the ratio of operating income to sales. We roughly decompose those gains in profitability as follows: 10 percent of the increase is due to higher product prices; 33 percent of the increase represents a transfer from laid-off workers; and productivity gains account for the residual 57 percent. Transfers from society to the firm are partially offset by taxes which absorb slightly over half the gains in operating income. Finally, we also find evidence indicating that deregulation is associated with faster convergence to industry benchmarks
Corporate ownership around the world by Rafael La Porta( Book )
12 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 97 libraries worldwide
We present data on ownership structures of large corporations in 27 wealthy economies, making an effort to identify ultimate controlling shareholders of these firms. We find that, except in economies with very good shareholder protection, relatively few of these firms are widely-held, in contrast to the Berle and Means image of ownership of the modern corporation. Rather, these firms are typically controlled by families or the State. Equity control by financial institutions or other widely-held corporations is less common. The controlling shareholders typically have the power over firms significantly in excess of their cash flow rights, primarily through the use of pyramids and participation in management. The results suggest that the principal agency problem in large corporations around the world is that of restricting expropriation of minority shareholders by the controlling shareholders, rather than that of restricting empire building by professional managers unaccountable to shareholders
Government ownership of banks by Rafael La Porta( Book )
14 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 93 libraries worldwide
In this paper, we investigate a neglected aspect of financial systems of many countries around the world: government ownership of banks. We assemble data which establish four findings. First, government ownership of banks is large and pervasive around the world. Second, such ownership is particularly significant in countries with low levels of per capita income, underdeveloped financial systems, interventionist and inefficient governments, and poor protection of property rights. Third, government ownership of banks is associated with slower subsequent financial development. Finally, government ownership of banks is associated with lower subsequent growth of per capita income, and in particular with lower growth of productivity rather than slower factor accumulation. This evidence is inconsistent with the optimistic development' theories of government ownership of banks common in the 1960s, but supports the more recent political' theories of the effects of government ownership of firms
Legal determinants of external finance by Rafael La Porta( Book )
14 editions published between 1996 and 1997 in English and held by 91 libraries worldwide
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
Agency problems and divided policies around the world by Rafael La Porta( Book )
11 editions published between 1998 and 2000 in English and held by 88 libraries worldwide
This paper addresses the question of why firms pay dividends, the so-called outline two agency models of dividends. On what we call outcome minority shareholders to force corporate outsiders to disgorge cash. Under this model, stronger minority shareholder rights should be associated with higher dividends. On what we call substitute a reputation for decent treatment of minority shareholders so that firms can raise equity finance in the future. Under this model, stronger minority shareholder rights reduce the need for establishing a reputation, and so should be associated with lower dividends. We compare these models on a cross-section of 4,000 companies from around the world, which operate in 33 countries with different levels of shareholder protection, and therefore different strength of minority shareholder rights. The findings on payout levels and other results support the outcome agency model of dividends
Good news for value stocks : further evidence on market efficiency ( Book )
10 editions published between 1995 and 1996 in English and held by 85 libraries worldwide
This paper examines the hypothesis that the superior return to so-called value stocks is the result of expectational errors made by investors. We study stock price reactions around earnings announcements for value and glamour stocks over a 5 year period after portfolio formation. The announcement returns suggest that a significant portion of the return difference between value and glamour stocks is attributable to earnings surprises that are systematically more positive for value stocks. The evidence is inconsistent with a risk-based explanation for the return differential
The guarantees of freedom by Rafael La Porta( Book )
12 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 82 libraries worldwide
Hayek (1960) distinguishes the institutions of English freedom, which guarantee the independence of judges from political interference in the administration of justice, from those of American freedom, which allow judges to restrain law-making powers of the sovereign through constitutional review. We create a data base of constitutional rules in 71 countries that reflect these institutions of English and American freedom, and ask whether these rules predict economic and political freedom in a cross-section of countries. We find that the English institutions of judicial independence are strong predictors of economic freedom and weaker predictors of political freedom. The American institutions of checks and balances are strong predictors of political but not of economic freedom. Judicial independence explains half of the positive effect of common law legal origin on measures of economic freedom
Investor protection and corporate valuation by Rafael La Porta( Book )
14 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and held by 82 libraries worldwide
We present a model of the effects of legal protection of minority shareholders and of cash flow ownership by a controlling shareholder on the valuation of firms. We then test this model using a sample of 371 large firms from 27 wealthy economies. Consistent with the model, we find evidence of higher valuation of firms in countries with better protection of minority shareholders, and weaker evidence of the benefits of higher cash flow ownership by controlling shareholders for corporate valuation
Investor protection : origins, consequences, reform by Rafael La Porta( Book )
12 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 80 libraries worldwide
Recent research has documented large differences between countries in ownership concentration in publicly traded firms, in the breadth and depth of capital markets, in dividend policies, and in the access of firms to external finance. We suggest that there is a common element to the explanations of these differences, namely how well investors, both shareholders and creditors, are protected by law from expropriation by the managers and controlling shareholders of firms. We describe the differences in laws and the effectiveness of their enforcement across countries, discuss the possible origins of these differences, summarize their consequences, and assess potential strategies of corporate governance reform. We argue that the legal approach is a more fruitful way to understand corporate governance and its reform than the conventional distinction between bank-centered and market-centered financial systems
Trust in large organizations by Rafael La Porta( Book )
13 editions published between 1996 and 1997 in English and held by 76 libraries worldwide
Several authors suggest that trust is an important determinant of cooperation between strangers in a society, and therefore of performance of social institutions. We argue that trust should be particularly important for the performance of large organizations. In a cross-section of countries, evidence on government performance, participation in civic and professional societies, importance of large firms, and the performance of social institutions more generally supports this hypothesis. Moreover, trust is lower in countries with dominant hierarchical religions, which may have deterred networks of cooperation trust hold up remarkably well on a cross-section of countries
What moves the discount on country equity funds by Gikas A Hardouvelis( Book )
11 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and held by 75 libraries worldwide
The paper characterizes several empirical regularities of closed- end fund prices and examines the extent to which a 'sentiment' model of asset prices is consistent with the empirical regularities. We find that after controlling for the effect of cross-border investment restrictions, country funds trade at an average discount. Discounts vary substantially and contribute to a variance in country fund weekly returns which is generally three times greater than the returns on the net asset value (NAV). Regression analysis suggests that discounts have predictive power for fund returns but not for NAV returns, suggesting that investor 'sentiment' is a component of the price of a fund and not its NAV. Estimation of an unobserved components model on the discounts of the funds reveals a significant and strongly persistent common component across fund discounts. Regressions of fund and NAV returns on financial variables reveal that fund prices are 'sticky' with respect to movements in the host country's stock market and overly sensitive to variation in the U.S. and world stock markets. This relation is unaffected when we consider separately funds whose host countries restrict cross-border investment and funds which invest in emerging stock markets
Related lending by Rafael La Porta( Book )
10 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 74 libraries worldwide
In many countries, banks lend to firms controlled by the bank?s owners. We examine the benefits of related lending using a newly assembled dataset for Mexico. Related lending is prevalent (20% of commercial loans) and takes place on better terms than arm?s-length lending (annual interest rates are 4 percentage points lower). Related loans are 33% more likely to default and, when they do, have lower recovery rates (30% less) than unrelated ones. The evidence supports the view that rather than enhance information sharing, related lending is a manifestation of looting
Judicial checks and balances ( Book )
7 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 67 libraries worldwide
In the Anglo-American constitutional tradition, judicial checks and balances are often seen as crucial guarantees of freedom. Hayek (1960) distinguishes two ways in which the judiciary provides such checks and balances: judicial independence and constitutional review. We create a new data base of constitutional rules in 71 countries that reflect these provisions. We find strong support for the proposition that both judicial independence and constitutional review are associated with greater freedom. Consistent with theory, judicial independence accounts for some of the positive effect of common law legal origin on measures of economic freedom. The results point to significant benefits of the Anglo-American system of government for freedom
What works in securities laws? by Rafael La Porta( Book )
9 editions published between 2002 and 2003 in English and held by 66 libraries worldwide
We examine the effect of securities laws on stock market development in 49 countries. We find almost no evidence that public enforcement benefits stock markets, and strong evidence that laws facilitating private enforcement through disclosure and liability rules benefit stock markets
Courts : the Lex Mundi project by Simeon Djankov( Book )
6 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 57 libraries worldwide
In cooperation with Lex Mundi member law firms in 109 countries, we measure and describe the exact procedures used by litigants and courts to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent and to collect a bounced check. We use these data to construct an index of procedural formalism of dispute resolution for each country. We find that such formalism is systematically greater in civil than in common law countries. Moreover, procedural formalism is associated with higher expected duration of judicial proceedings, more corruption, less consistency, less honesty, less fairness in judicial decisions, and inferior access to justice. These results suggest that legal transplantation may have led to an inefficiently high level of procedural formalism, particularly in developing countries
The economic consequences of legal origins by Rafael La Porta( file )
6 editions published between 2007 and 2008 in English and held by 42 libraries worldwide
In the last decade, economists have produced a considerable body of research suggesting that the historical origin of a country's laws is highly correlated with a broad range of its legal rules and regulations, as well as with economic outcomes. We summarize this evidence and attempt a unified interpretation. We also address several objections to the empirical claim that legal origins matter. Finally, we assess the implications of this research for economic reform
The unofficial economy in Africa by Rafael La Porta( file )
4 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 36 libraries worldwide
We examine the productivity of informal firms (those that are not registered with the government) in 24 African countries using field work and World Bank firm level data. We find that productivity jumps sharply if we compare small formal firms to informal firms, and rises rapidly with the size of formal firms. Critically, informal firms appear to be qualitatively different than formal firms: they are smaller in size, produce to order, are run by managers with low human capital, do not have access to external finance, do not advertise their products, and sell to largely informal clients for cash. Informal firms thus occupy a very different market niche than formal firms do, and rarely become formal because there is very little demand for their products from the formal sector
The unofficial economy and economic development by Rafael La Porta( file )
6 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 33 libraries worldwide
In developing countries, informal firms (those that are not registered with the government) account for about half of all economic activity. We consider three broad views of the role of such firms in economic development. According to the romantic view, these firms would become the engine of economic growth if not stopped by government regulation. According to the parasite view, informal firms, by avoiding taxes and regulations, unfairly compete with the more efficient formal firms and, by taking away their market share, undermine economic progress. According to the dual view, informal firms are highly inefficient, do not pose much threat to the formal firms, but also do not contribute to economic growth, which is driven by the efficient formal firms. Using data from World Bank firm level surveys, we find that informal firms are small and extremely unproductive, compared even to the small formal firms, and especially relative to the larger formal firms. Compared to the informal firms, formal ones are run by much better educated managers. As a consequence, they use more capital, have different customers, market their products, and use more external finance. Hardly any formal firms had ever operated informally. This evidence is inconsistent with the romantic and parasite views, but supports the dual view. In this "Walmart" theory of economic development, growth comes from the creation of the highly productive formal firms. Informal firms keep millions of people alive, but disappear over time
 
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Alternative Names
Drago, Rafael La Porta
La Porta Drago, Rafael
LaPorta, Rafael
Porta, Rafael la
Languages
English (212)
Swedish (1)
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