Does Law Matter? A Natural Experiment using Corporate Governance in Indonesia and Malaysia

Benedict Sheehy, Sarah Yu, Luther Lie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The question, “does law matter?” reflects a fundamental concern of whether law is worth the attention and investment of public authorities. Often implied in the discussion is that other contextual institutions, whether markets or informal established social practices, are preferable methods for organising the economy and may well do a better job of satisfying individual needs. This paper investigates the proposition that law does matter even in the Asian context where strong informal social practices persist by examining the corporate law of two very similar countries—Indonesia and Malaysia—that have such social practices. Using these two countries allows us to control for non-legal factors that significantly influence economic performance to provide evidence of whether law matters. Using empirical methods, we analyse data from the latest 10 year normal period (i.e. prior to COVID-19 disruption) and find that adoption of laws consistent with G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance substantially contributes to a jurisdiction’s economic performance at least as measured by stock market performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-42
Number of pages42
JournalLaw in Context
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2022


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