How stable is controlling corporate ownership?

Research output: Working paper


Empirical studies of controlling corporate ownership typically face at least two difficulties: presumed stability of ownership that leads to low-powered tests and time-consuming hand-collection of data. We provide guidance for data collection and empirical design using simulation-based results on the effect of different degrees of time variation and number of time data points on the power of hypothesis tests based on within-firm estimators. Using a unique 17-year period ownership database for all firms with operations in Canada, we illustrate our simulation findings and the different degrees of time variation of ownership in different jurisdictions and subgroups by family control and complexity of ownership structure. Ownership is not stable for domestic firms, while it is indeed more stable for firms belonging to Anglo-Saxon multinationals and it changes more for family firms and ones organized in pyramid structures.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages44
Publication statusSubmitted - 5 Apr 2020


  • ownership
  • business groups
  • family firms
  • cross-sectional and time-series variation
  • pyramids
  • ultimate cash flow rights

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