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Do Courts Matter for Firm Value? Evidence from the US Court System

Stefano Colonnello and Christoph Herpfer

Journal of Law and Economics, 2021, vol. 64, issue 2, 403 - 438

Abstract: We estimate how US state courts impact firm value by exploiting a US Supreme Court ruling that exogenously changed firms’ exposure to different courts. We find that increased exposure to more business-friendly courts is associated with positive announcement returns. We find no such association for objective court quality. Consistent with the ruling impacting firm value through the legal environment channel, we find that effects are stronger for firms with high litigation exposure. We find that the ruling led to a shift in both the geographic distribution of lawsuits and operations of firms.

Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Do courts matter for firm value? Evidence from the U.S. court system (2018) Downloads
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