Government Ownership in Listed Firms Around the World

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Based on the first of its kind large-scale research on worldwide government ownership from 47 countries, the results show that government owners like to be the largest blockholders; if government is the largest blockholder, the size of its ownership is also quite big. Government ownership is mostly distributed in banks, infrastructure and public utility companies, and strategic manufacturing companies. While there are various theoretical arguments on the size and industry distribution of government ownership, this study provides first-ever empirical evidence. In sum, this paper contributes significantly and originally to our understanding on government ownership, and lay out further directions for future research on the complicated corporate governance issues of government ownership.

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