Investor protection effects on corporate liquidity and the cost of capital
Studies by LaPorta et al. (2000, 2002) show that the strong protection of investor rights encourage the development of capital markets and are associated with higher levels of firm valuation as measured by Tobin's Q. Related research finds that well-developed capital markets produce higher rates of economic growth and allocate capital more efficiently. These studies fail, however, to explain how the investor protection environment produces higher firm values or facilitates the more efficient allocation of investment capital. Using a sample of 158 ADRs representing 26 different countries, this study provides such a linkage by examining the effect of investor protection levels on share liquidity and the firm's cost of capital. We find that lower levels of investor protection reduce share liquidity while simultaneously resulting in a higher cost of equity capital. The combination of less liquidity with a higher cost of capital suggests an explanation for the lower values observed for firms incorporated in countries with fewer investor protections.
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