Minority Stockholders' Protection in a New Corporate Control Law: Market Implications in an Emerging Economy

Document Type


Publication Date



Finance, Real Estate, and Business Law


This paper analyzes the effect of a new corporate governance law in the emerging capital market of Chile to determine if capital markets perceived the intended protection of minority stockholders against wealth expropriation as effective. The unique nature of the new law allowed for voluntary adoption during the initial three-year period, after which it became mandatory. We find no evidence of superior abnormal returns for those firms voluntarily adopting the new law versus those forced to accept the new law as it became mandatory. Trading volume also increased for those not adopting and declined for those that did voluntarily adopt. These results indicate that the capital markets did not perceive voluntary adoption of the new law as effective protection for minority shareholders. We also find a greater presence of institutional investors in the ownership structure of those firms not voluntarily adopting the new law, indicating their monitoring role by investing in firms with better corporate governance practices. Our results suggest that, in the Chilean case, the presence of strong institutional investors is as effective a corporate governance mechanism as is the new law.

Publication Title

Emerging Markets Finance and Trade





First Page


Last Page