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Ownership Concentration, Monitoring and Optimal Board Structure

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Author Info

  • Clara Graziano

    (University of Udine)

  • Annalisa Luporini

    (University of Florence)

Abstract

The paper analyzes the optimal structure of board of directors in a firm with ownership concentrated in the hands of a large shareholder who sits on the board. We focus our attention on the choice between one-tier board who performs all tasks and two-tier board where the management board is in charge of project selection and the supervisory board is in charge of monitoring. We consider the case in which the large shareholder sits on (and controls) the supervisory board but not the management board. We show that a two-tier structure can limit the interference of large shareholders and can restore manager’s incentive to exert effort to become informed on new investment projects without reducing the large, shareholder’s incentive to monitor the manager. This results in higher expected profits in a two-tier board than in one-tier board and the difference in profits can be sufficiently high to induce large shareholders to prefer a two-tier board despite the fact that in this case the manager selects his preferred projects rather than the project preferred by large shareholders. The paper has interesting policy implications since it suggests that two-tier boards can be a valuable option in Continental Europe where ownership structure is concentrated. It also offers support to some recent corporate governance reforms, like the so-called Vietti reform in Italy, that have introduced the possibility to choose between one-tier and two-tier structure of boards for listed firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2005.14.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.14

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Keywords: Board of directors; Dual board; Corporate governance; Monitoring; Project Choice;

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References

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  1. Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2003. "Board Efficiency and Internal Corporate Control Mechanisms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 495-530, December.
  2. Falk, Armin & Kosfeld, Michael, 2004. "Distrust – The Hidden Cost of Control," IZA Discussion Papers 1203, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2010. "Optimal Delegation when the Large Shareholder has Multiple Tasks," CESifo Working Paper Series 3028, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1996. "Endogenously Chosen Boards of Directors and Their Monitoring of the CEO," Microeconomics 9602001, EconWPA, revised 09 Oct 1996.
  5. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2001. "Boards of Directors as an Endogenously Determined Institution: A Survey of the Economic Literature," NBER Working Papers 8161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Hirshleifer & Anjan V. Thakor, 1998. "Corporate Control Through Board Dismissals and Takeovers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 489-520, December.
  7. Renée B. Adams & Daniel Ferreira, 2007. "A Theory of Friendly Boards," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 217-250, 02.
  8. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2006. "The Role of Family in Family Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 73-96, Spring.
  9. Brunello, Giorgio & Graziano, Clara & Parigi, Bruno, 2001. "Executive compensation and firm performance in Italy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 133-161, January.
  10. Burkart, Mike & Gromb, Denis & Panunzi, Fausto, 1997. "Large Shareholders, Monitoring, and the Value of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 693-728, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Belot, François & Ginglinger, Edith & Slovin, Myron B. & Sushka, Marie E., 2014. "Freedom of Choice between Unitary and Two-Tier Boards: An Empirical Analysis," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12816, Paris Dauphine University.
  3. Kai Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2012. "The market for protection and the origin of the state," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 417-443, June.
  4. Andreani, Ettore & Dummann, Kathrin & Neuberger, Doris, 2009. "Composition of supervisory boards in Germany: Inside or outside control of banks?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 103, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  5. Belot, François & Ginglinger, Edith & Slovin, Myron B. & Sushka, Marie E., 2014. "Freedom of choice between unitary and two-tier boards: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(3), pages 364-385.

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