Corporate Governance, Corporate Finance and Economic Performance in Emerging Markets (CBR project)


Aims and objectives

The purpose of this research project was to investigate some central issues in global corporate governance with specific reference to emerging markets, although the project also had a broad international scope. The project was interdisciplinary: it interpreted the concept of corporate governance in a broader rather than a narrow economistic way. The project investigated the relationship between corporate governance, product and capital market competition, stability and economic growth.

Results and dissemination

The Economic Journal published in November 2003, a symposium with a lead article from Singh and contributions from Dennis Mueller and his colleagues in Vienna, John Roberts and his colleagues from United States as well as the Cambridge team of Glen, Lee and Singh. The symposium highlighted the paradoxes which Singh had documented in his research in relation to the intensity of competition and the financing of corporate governance in emerging markets. The broad message of the symposium was that the received image of developing countries (DCs) as being essentially characterised by pervasive and inefficient government controls on economic activity, lack of competition, immature and imperfect capital markets and poor corporate governance is very far from being the whole picture. Although there might be shortcomings in corporate governance in many DCs, leading emerging countries have vibrant product markets, displaying as much intensity of competition as that observed in advanced countries. Further, despite the capital market imperfections, stock markets in these countries have been growing fast and contributing significantly to corporate growth through new primary issues. This evolution provides a solid basis for future advance: the central developmental issue is how to use these social assets for promoting and completing the industrial revolution which large numbers of developing countries embarked on in the second half of the 20th century.  Glen and Singh (2004a) also challenge the highly influential Greenspan-Summers structuralist thesis, which attributes the fundamental cause of the Asian crisis to the Asian way of doing business. In this thesis, the crisis is blamed on poor corporate governance and lack of competition. Glen and Singh conclude however, that there is little evidence to support the Greenspan-Summers thesis. Indeed on balance, the evidence suggests that the prime cause of the crisis was premature financial liberalisation and a lack of prudential regulation in many Asian countries.

Project leaders

  • Ajit Singh
  • Jack Glen (IFC)
  • Kevin Lee (Leicester)
  • Burcin Yortoglu (Vienna)

Project status



Working papers

Aw, B.Y., Chung, S., and Roberts, M. (2002) ‘Productivity, output and failure: a comparison of Taiwanese and Korean manufacturers’, Working Paper. 

Glen, J., Singh, A. and Matthias, R (1999) ‘How intensive is the competition in the emerging markets: an analysis of corporate rates of returns from nine emerging markets’, IMF Working Paper 99/32, Washington DC.

Glen, J. and Singh, Ajit (2003) ‘Capital Structure, Rates of Return and Financing Corporate Growth: Comparing Developed and Emerging Markets’ CBR Working Papers no. 265.

Glen J., Lee K., Singh, A. (2002) ‘Corporate profitability and the dynamics of competition in emerging markets: a time series analysis’, Centre for Business Research Working Paper No. 248.

Glen, J., Lee, K. and Singh, A (2000) ‘Competition, corporate governance and financing of corporate growth in emerging markets’, DSA working paper, Centre for Economics Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

Gugler, K., Mueller, D.C. and Yurtoglu, B.B., (2002) ‘The impact of corporate governance on investment returns in developed and developing countries’, mimeo.

Singh, A and Glen, J. (2004a). “Corporate Governance, Competition and Finance: Rethinking Lessons from the Asian Crisis”, CBR Working Paper 288.

Singh, Ajit (2003) ‘Corporate governance, corporate finance and stock markets in emerging countries’ CBR Working Paper no. 258.

Singh, A (2002b) ‘Competition and competition policy in emerging markets: international and developmental dimensions’, Harvard University/UNCTAD-G24, Working Paper No 18, Geneva and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Singh, A (2002) ‘Capital account liberalization, free long-term capital flows, financial crises and economic development’, CBR Working Paper No. 245.

Singh, A (2002) ‘Competition, corporate governance and selection in emerging markets’, CBR Working Paper No 247.

Singh, A., (2002b) ‘Competition and competition policy in emerging markets: international and developmental dimensions’, Harvard University/UNCTAD-G24 Working Paper No. 18, Geneva and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Singh, A., (2001)  ‘Income Inequality in Advanced Economies:  A Critical Examination of the Trade and Technology Theories and an Alternative Perspective’, ESRC Centre for Business Research Working Paper No. 219.

Singh, A and Dhumale, R (1999) ‘Competition policy, development and developing countries’, Working Paper no 9, Trade-related agenda, Development and equity, South Centre, Geneva.

Singh, A., Singh, A., and Weisse, B. (2002) ‘Corporate governance, competition, the new international financial architecture and large corporations in emerging markets’, CBR Working Paper No 250.

Singh, A., Singh, A. and Weisse, B. (2001) ‘Corporate Governance, Competition, the New International Financial Architecture and Large Corporations in Emerging Markets’ paper presented at the UN Conference on Capital Flows in Cairo, March 2001.

Singh, A., Singh, A. and Weisse, B. (2000) ‘Information Technology, Venture Capital and the Stock Market’, Department of Applied Economics, Cambridge. Discussion Papers in Accounting and Finance, No. AF47.

Journal articles

Deakin, S. (2002) ‘Squaring the circle? Shareholder value and corporate social responsibility in the UK’, George Washington Law Review, 70: 976-987.

Glen, J. and Singh, A., (2005 forthcoming) ‘Corporate Governance, Competition and Finance: Re-thinking Lessons form the Asian Crisis’, provisionally accepted by Eastern Economic Journal.

Glen, J., Lee, K. and Singh, A. (2003) ‘Corporate Profitability and the Dynamics of Competition in Emerging Markets: A Time Series Analysis’, Economic Journal, 113(November): F465-F484.

Glen, J., Lee, K. and Singh, A. (2001) ‘Persistence of Profitability and Competition in Emerging Markets’, Economics Letters, Volume 72, Issue 2, , August 2001, Pages 247-253.

Singh, A. (2003) ‘Corporate Governance, Corporate Finance and Stock Markets in Emerging Countries’, Journal of Corporate Law Studies, 3(1): 41-72.

Book chapters

Singh, A (2004) ‘Corporate profitability and competition in emerging markets’. Mohan Luthra (ed) Tapping UK’s diversity to connect with emerging markets with special reference to India and China. A consultation day seminar report on the white paper: globalization, a force for good, held in April 2004. Published December 2004, UK Trade and Investment.

Singh, A., and Dhumale, R. (2004)  “Competition, policy, development, and developing countries”.  In Arestis, P., M. Baddeley, and J. McCombie (Ed.), What Global Economic Crisis? Paperback edition, Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 122-145.

Singh, A. (2003) ‘Competition and competition policy in emerging markets: international and developmental dimensions’,  (UNCTAD and Center for International Development: Harvard University).

Singh, A. (2003) ‘Multilateral competition policy and economic development: A developing country perspective on the European Community proposals’ Forthcoming in the UNCTAD Technical Series on the Development Dimension of Competition. 

Singh, A. (2003) ‘The new international financial architecture, corporate governance and competition in emerging markets: new issues for developing economies’, in H. Chang (ed.) Rethinking Development Economics (London: Anthem Press) 377-403.

Singh, A., Singh, A. and Weisse, B. (2003) ‘Corporate Governance, Competition, the New International Financial Architecture and Large Corporations in Emerging Markets’ in Management of Capital Flows:  Comparative experiences and implications for Africa (UNCTAD).