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Reputational Penalties and the Merits of Class-Action Securities Litigation

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  • Helland, Eric
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    Abstract

    If private securities class actions alleging fraudulent behavior by officers or directors of a company are meritorious, directors and officers should pay a reputational penalty when they sit on a board of a company whose officers and directors are accused of fraud. I find little evidence of a negative effect associated with allegations of fraud. Using various definitions of board positions as a proxy for the reputation of directors who are accused of fraud, I find that the net number of board positions is consistently increased. Only in shareholder class actions in the top quartile of settlements or in which the Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated a case do directors appear to suffer a reputational penalty when a board they serve on is accused of fraud. The results call into question the merits of private securities class actions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (October)
    Pages: 365-95

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2006:v:49:i:2:p:365-95

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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    Cited by:
    1. Shivdasani, Anil & Song, Wei-Ling, 2010. "Breaking Down the Barriers: Competition, Syndicate Structure, and Underwriting Incentives," Working Papers 10-25, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    2. Humphery-Jenner, Mark L., 2012. "Internal and external discipline following securities class actions," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 151-179.
    3. Thomas Ulen, 2011. "An introduction to the law and economics of class action litigation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 185-203, October.
    4. Fich, Eliezer M. & Shivdasani, Anil, 2007. "Financial fraud, director reputation, and shareholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 306-336, November.
    5. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Scott Lee, D. & Martin, Gerald S., 2008. "The consequences to managers for financial misrepresentation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 193-215, May.
    6. Shivdasani, Anil & Song, Wei-Ling, 2011. "Breaking down the barriers: Competition, syndicate structure, and underwriting incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 581-600, March.

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