Research Summary

Corporate Governance and International Competitiveness

by W. Carl Kester


W. Carl Kester's research involves comparisons of national or broad regional systems of corporate governance (e.g., German, Japanese, Anglo-American), and the influence these systems exert on corporate investment and international competitiveness. Kester has found that companies domiciled in different parts of the world have evolved different but often equally effective techniques for controlling problems that arise from informational asymmetries and from markedly different roles in the corporate governance process for large institutional investors and other stakeholders. Kester suggests that these differences have contributed to discrepancies in national investment patterns, which have, in turn, influenced national competitiveness. His comparative research, which is likely to have important public policy implications for corporate governance in the United States, is an outgrowth of earlier research on the corporate finance and investment activities of major Japanese corporations. That research yielded a number of teaching cases for the elective course International Managerial Finance; a book Japanese Takeovers: The Global Contest for Corporate Control; and a series of papers (with Timothy A. Luehrman) on differences in cost of capital between the United States and Japan.