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CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology KTH/CESIS Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation

No 197:
R&D, Corporate Governance and Profitability of Firms – a literature review

Daniel Wiberg ()

Abstract: This paper aims to provide a summarize review of recent empirical research, in the field of corporate governance and its relation to performance of firms. Specifically, the focus is on the role of institutional owners in the conflict between controlling shareholders and minority owners. The paper also contributes to the literature on corporate governance and performance by providing some discussion on the statistical methods used in most empirical investigations. Summing up recent studies in the evaluation of firms’ investment performance has shown significant differences in the valuation of firms, depending on the market expectations and industry affiliation. Focusing on the role of institutional owners in relation to firms’ investment performance, the existing empirical evidence suggest that institutional owners have a positive influence on firms’ investment performance. Studies that looks at the role of institutional owners from the perspective of dividend policy has shown that institutional owners demand higher dividends to compensate for aggravated agency conflicts due to vote-differentiated shares. A large body of research investigates the performance of firms from a long run perspective. These studies demonstrate that profits converge over time, but the convergence is incomplete. Investment in R&D is often put forward as an explanation for persistent profits above the norm. Looking at individual mutual funds, and specifically how to measure risk-adjusted performance, investigations generally show that mutual funds underperform in relation to their market benchmark, even when risk-adjusted to the same level of risk.

Keywords: Corporate Governance; Investment Performance; Investment; nstitutions; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C23; G30; L25; (follow links to similar papers)

26 pages, September 28, 2009

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