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Social Networks in the Boardroom

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  • Kramarz, Francis
  • Thesmar, David

Abstract

This paper provides empirical evidence consistent with the facts that (1) social networks may strongly affect board composition and (2) social networks may be detrimental to corporate governance. Our empirical investigation relies on a unique dataset on executives and outside directors of corporations listed on the Paris stock exchange over the 1992-2003 period. This data source is a matched employer employee dataset providing both detailed information on directors/CEOs and information on the firm employing them. We first find a very strong and robust correlation between the CEO's network and that of his directors. Networks of former high ranking civil servants are the most active in shaping board composition. Our identification strategy takes into account (1) differences in unobserved directors 'abilities' and (2) the unobserved propensity of firms to hire directors from particular networks, irrespective of the CEO's identity. We then show that the governance of firms run by former civil servants is relatively worse on many dimensions. Former civil servants are less likely to leave their CEO job when their firm performs badly. Secondly, CEOs who are former bureaucrats are more likely to accumulate directorships, and the more they do, the less profitable is the firm they run. Thirdly, the value created by acquisitions made by former bureaucrats is lower. All in all, these firms are less profitable on average.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5496.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5496

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Keywords: board of directors; corporate governance; social networks;

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  1. L'affaire Proglio
    by obouba in Olivier Bouba-Olga on 2010-01-24 11:45:00
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Cited by:
  1. Chiraz Ben Ali & Frédéric Teulon, 2014. "CEO Monitoring and board effectiveness - Resolving CEO compensation issue," Working Papers 2014-045, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  2. Perihan Ozge Saygin & Andrea Weber & Michèle A. Weynandt, 2014. "Coworkers, Networks, and Job Search Outcomes," NRN working papers 2014-06, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Renée Adams & Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2008. "The Role of Boards of Directors in Corporate Governance: A Conceptual Framework and Survey," NBER Working Papers 14486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Zudenkova, Galina, 2011. "Cronyism in Business, Public Sector and Politics," Working Papers 2072/151814, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  5. Clare Leaver & Jordi Blances i Vidal, 2007. "Behaviour in Networks of Collaborators: Theory and Evidence from the English Judiciary," Economics Series Working Papers 354, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Bramoullé, Y. & Goyal, S., 2009. "Favoritism," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0942, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Erich Battistin & Clara Graziano & G. Parigi, 2008. "Connections and Performance in Bankers' Turnover: Better Wed over the Mixen than over the Moor," CESifo Working Paper Series 2439, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2010. "The use of informal networks in Italy: Efficiency or favoritism?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 89-99, January.
  9. Braggion, F., 2008. "Managers, Firms and (Secret) Social Networks: The Economics of Freemasonry," Discussion Paper 2008-36, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2011. "A simple model of favouritism in recruitment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 78-88, June.
  11. Spagnolo, Giancarlo & Lippert, Steffen, 2004. "Networks of Relations," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 570, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 03 May 2005.
  12. Stuart, Toby E. & Yim, Soojin, 2010. "Board interlocks and the propensity to be targeted in private equity transactions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 174-189, July.
  13. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Michael P. Devereux & Seppo Honkapohja & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2007. "Chapter 6: Economic nationalism," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 133-147, 02.

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