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The causal effect of board size in the performance of small and medium-sized firms

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  • Bennedsen, Morten
  • Kongsted, Hans Christian
  • Nielsen, Kasper Meisner
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    Abstract

    Empirical studies of large publicly traded firms have shown a robust negative relationship between board size and firm performance. The evidence on small and medium-sized firms is less clear; we show that existing work has been incomplete in analyzing the causal relationship due to weak identification strategies. Using a rich data set of almost 7000 closely held corporations we provide a causal analysis of board size effects on firm performance: We use a novel instrument given by the number of children of the chief executive officer (CEO) of the firms. First, we find a strong positive correlation between family size and board size and show this correlation to be driven by firms where the CEO's relatives serve on the board. Second, we find empirical evidence of a small adverse board size effect driven by the minority of small and medium-sized firms that are characterized by having comparatively large boards of six or more members.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 1098-1109

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:32:y:2008:i:6:p:1098-1109

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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    References

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    16. Morten Bennedsen & Kasper Meisner Nielsen & Francisco Pérez-González & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2007. "Inside the Family Firm: the Role of Families in Succession Decisions and Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 647-691, 05.
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    Cited by:
    1. Waelchli, Urs & Zeller, Jonas, 2013. "Old captains at the helm: Chairman age and firm performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1612-1628.
    2. Wang, Wei-Kang & Lu, Wen-Min & Lin, Yi-Ling, 2012. "Does corporate governance play an important role in BHC performance? Evidence from the U.S," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 751-760.
    3. Berger, Allen N. & Kick, Thomas & Koetter, Michael & Schaeck, Klaus, 2011. "Does it pay to have friends? Social ties and executive appointments in banking," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2011,18, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    4. Uchida, Konari, 2011. "Does corporate board downsizing increase shareholder value? Evidence from Japan," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 562-573, October.
    5. Pascal Nguyen & Nahid Rahman, 2014. "Which Governance Characteristics Affect the Incidence of Divestitures in Australia?," Working Paper Series 180, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    6. Suchard, Jo-Ann, 2009. "The impact of venture capital backing on the corporate governance of Australian initial public offerings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 765-774, April.
    7. Tukur Garba PhD & Bilkisu Aliyu Abubakar, 2014. "Corporate Board Diversity and Financial Performance of Insurance Companies in Nigeria: An Application of Panel Data Approach," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(2), pages 257-277, February.
    8. Lu, Wen-Min & Wang, Wei-Kang & Hung, Shiu-Wan & Lu, En-Tzu, 2012. "The effects of corporate governance on airline performance: Production and marketing efficiency perspectives," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 529-544.
    9. Bennedsen, Morten & Nielsen, Kasper Meisner, 2010. "Incentive and entrenchment effects in European ownership," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2212-2229, September.
    10. Mersland, Roy & Øystein Strøm, R., 2009. "Performance and governance in microfinance institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 662-669, April.
    11. Salas, Jesus M., 2010. "Entrenchment, governance, and the stock price reaction to sudden executive deaths," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 656-666, March.
    12. Basu, Nilanjan & Dimitrova, Lora & Paeglis, Imants, 2009. "Family control and dilution in mergers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 829-841, May.

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