High ownership concentration and exporting of emerging market firms: Evidence from Peru

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Despite the extraordinarily high ownership concentration widely observed in emerging market firms as a result of institutional voids, there is little research on how this high ownership concentration affects the exporting behavior of emerging market firms. From principal-agent and institutional perspectives, we hypothesize that high ownership concentration has a negative relationship with export intensity, because, in emerging markets, highly concentrated ownership bridges the interests of owners (principals) and managers (agents) so that principals must be prudent in exploring risky international markets. Moreover, we hypothesize that export country diversification strengthens the relationship between ownership concentration and export intensity, because broad geographic dispersion increases risk exposure and principal-agent problems. Empirical analysis based on a panel dataset for publicly listed firms in Peru from 2005 to 2014 supports the hypotheses. The study highlights the risk aversion attitude activated by ownership concentration, an attitude that protects emerging market firms from overconfidently exploring international business opportunities. The study extends the conventional literature on the interface between ownership concentration and international business in an emerging market context. We also discuss the generalizability of the findings to other emerging markets, e.g. China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers of Business Research in China
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


  • Agency theory
  • Country diversification
  • Emerging markets
  • Export
  • Ownership concentration
  • Peru


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