Do U.S. Firms Have the Best Corporate Governance? A Cross-Country Examination of the Relation between Corporate Governance and Shareholder Wealth
AbstractWe compare the governance of foreign firms to the governance of similar U.S. firms. Using an index of firm governance attributes, we find that, on average, foreign firms have worse governance than matching U.S. firms. Roughly 8% of foreign firms have better governance than comparable U.S. firms. The majority of these firms are either in the U.K. or in Canada. When we define a firm's governance gap as the difference between the quality of its governance and the governance of a comparable U.S. firm, we find that the value of foreign firms increases with the governance gap. This result suggests that firms are rewarded by the markets for having better governance than their U.S. peers. It is therefore not the case that foreign firms are better off simply mimicking the governance of comparable U.S. firms. Among the individual governance attributes considered, we find that firms with board and audit committee independence are valued more. In contrast, other attributes, such as the separation of the chairman of the board and of the CEO functions, do not appear to be associated with higher shareholder wealth.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006-25.
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Reena Aggarwal & Isil Erel & Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2007. "Do U.S. Firms Have the Best Corporate Governance? A Cross-Country Examination of the Relation between Corporate Governance and Shareholder Wealth," NBER Working Papers 12819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
- G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
- G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
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