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Macroeconomic effects of ownership structure in OECD countries

Donatella Gatti ()

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Abstract: The article investigates the impact of ownership concentration (OC) on GDP growth, for a sample of 18 OECD countries over the period 1980-2004. The econometric analysis shows that more concentrated ownership can speed up growth, for countries approaching the technological frontier, provided that labor market regulation is sufficiently tight. In the absence of employment regulation, the logic of financial markets discipline applies and dispersed ownership appears as more favorable for growth. Based on econometric results, I calculate impact coefficients that allow to evaluate the growth points gained/lost following given variations in OC. This exercise reveals that a reform in the domain of ownership structure would have yielded, over the investigated period, sizeable effects in terms of growth. Importantly, these effects would have been unequally distributed across countries: Anglo-Saxon countries would have taken more advantage of deregulation (i.e. increased dispersion of ownership in a context of deregulated labor markets) while continental European countries would have benefited more from increased concentration of ownership in a context of reinforced labor regulation.

Date: 2009-10
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Published in Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2009, 18 (5), pp.901-928. ⟨10.1093/icc/dtp011⟩

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