With the global economy stuck in a low growth trap, it is crucial to understand the factors behind the weak recovery in potential output growth, and particularly the barriers to productivity growth. New research shows that this dynamic can be partly understood in terms of the increasing survival of zombie firms – i.e. those firms that would typically exit in a competitive market but are being kept alive by creditors or policy weakness. Today, a key risk is that zombie firms may depress creative destruction, crowd-out growth opportunities for healthy firms and underpin a period of macroeconomic stagnation, just as they did in Japan in the 1990s (Caballero et al., 2008).
The OECD has just published its OECD Survey of Corporate Governance Frameworks in Asia. Covering 14 different economies in Asia, the Survey covers various aspects of corporate governance from ownership structures, regulatory issues, board matters, shareholder rights, and the like that are prominent in relation to corporate governance of companies in those countries. The key is that in most of these jurisdictions, there is concentration of ownership (at varying levels) and hence corporate governance issues may be different from that faced in an Anglo-American context. Although the Survey is a top-level one containing an examination of key parameters in corporate governance, it is nevertheless useful for academics or practitioners looking at Asia from a broader comparative perspective.