The Influence of State Legal Environments on Firm Incorporation Decisions and Values
34 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2004
Date Written: October 2004
This study examines whether the state legal environment influences where IPOs elect to incorporate and their subsequent market value. To examine these questions, we develop a new measure of the state legal environment that incorporates both the presence of critical statutes and the willingness of a state to innovate. We conclude that this new measure offers legal academics, practitioners and others interested in corporate finance, a highly convenient and quantitative evaluation of a state's corporate legal climate. Our empirical use of this measure yields important cross-sectional variations in state legal environments, with the result that the most promanagement state is Pennsylvania. We also find that firms exhibit a willingness to separate their operational headquarters from the state of incorporation in a manner consistent with the promanagement orientation of the state legal code. Finally, we find that the state legal environment does effect firm value, but in a way that is consistent with a "race to the bottom" view of corporate law.
Keywords: incorporation, state law, firm value
JEL Classification: G3, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation