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Toward the end of last year, the markets were all aflutter with the news of initial public offerings and other capital-raising activity moving to European and Asian exchanges. The conventional wisdom: The companies were fleeing the excesses of Sarbanes-Oxley and good governance campaigns in the U.S.But two new academic studies may give pause to those packing their bags and those who would invest in them. The reports by academics at Georgetown University, Cornell University and the World Bank conclude two things: Not only do U.S. companies have significantly better governance than their non-U.S. counterparts, but that better governance is being translated into overall better performance in equity markets.

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