National Culture and Corporate Governance

  • Wolfgang Breuer
  • Astrid Juliane Salzmann


In a series of cross-country comparisons, we show that national culture is statistically significant in differentiating countries with different corporate governance systems. Using the Schwartz cultural value model and data on corporate governance systems, we analyze the impact of national culture on six dimensions of corporate governance. Countries that have stronger emphasis on the dimensions of Embeddedness, Egalitarianism, and Harmony are more likely to have bank-based systems, while countries with a stronger emphasis on Autonomy, Hierarchy, and Mastery tend to have market-based systems. The findings suggest several implications for the ongoing debate on convergence and divergence of corporate governance systems and policy reforms regarding financial crises.


Corporate Governance Cultural Dimension Ownership Structure National Culture Strong Emphasis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Bob Chirinko, Julian Holler, Dusan Isakov, Jens Iversen, Barbara Petracci, Robert Durand, and several anonymous conference referees for helpful comments. We are also grateful for suggestions from participants at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Finance Association in Chicago, March 2009, the Conference of the Swiss Society for Financial Market Research in Geneva, April 2009, the FMA European Conference in Turin, June 2009, the INFINITI Conference on International Finance in Dublin, June 2009, the FMA Asian Conference in Singapore, July 2010, and the Australasian Finance and Banking Conference in Sydney, December 2010. Financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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