Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Finance

Advisor

Wayne Lee

Committee Member

Kathy Fogel

Second Committee Member

Timothy Yeager

Keywords

Social sciences; Corporate governance; Formal institutions; Informal institutions; Market disciplines

Abstract

Corporate governance is the system by which corporations are controlled. External sources of governance include regulatory and market mechanisms as well as the interplay of goals between managers, the board, and shareholders. Other external sources can include informal institutions which can shape goals as well as suggested by institutional theory, effectively constrain human behavior. In my first essay, I argue that foreign direct investors can act as agents of change in corporate governance. Investigating changes in ownership and control of Swedish firms, I find that active foreign investors' participation move firms away from a Swedish stakeholder orientation toward an Anglo-American shareholder wealth maximization focus. In my second essay, I explore the relationship of informal and formal institutions on microfinance institutions (MFI). Investigating the outreach and performance of MFIs in developing nations, I find that strong formal institutions foster better efficiency and outreach while strong informal institutions' impact is limited to better outreach. In my third essay, I investigate the apparent lack of market discipline in the bank subordinated debt market leading up to the 2008 finance crisis. I find that subordinated debt holders were caught off guard by the suddenness and magnitude of the crisis. I argue that bank opacity created a vulnerable environment in the banking industry that contributed to this collapse.

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