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Corporate governance ratings as a means to reduce asymmetric information

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  • Balling, Morten

    ()
    (Department of Business Studies)

  • Holm, Claus

    ()
    (Department of Business Studies)

  • Poulsen, Thomas

    ()
    (Department of Business Studies)

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    Abstract

    Can corporate governance ratings reduce problems of asymmetric information between companies and investors? To answer this question, we set out to examine the information basis for providing such ratings by reviewing corporate governance attributes that are required or recommended in laws, accounting standards and codes, respectively. After that, we scrutinize and organize the publicly available information on the methodologies actually used by rating providers. However, important details of these methodologies are treated as confidential property, thus we approach the evaluation of corporate governance ratings as a means to reduce asymmetric information in a more general manner. We propose that the rating process may be seen as consisting of two general activities, namely a data reduction phase, and a data weighting, aggregation and classification phase. Findings based on a Danish data set suggest that rating providers by selecting relevant attributes in an intelligent way can improve the screening of companies according to governance quality. In contrast, it seems questionable that weighting, aggregation and classification of corporate governance attributes considerably improve discrimination according to governance quality

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Business Studies in its series Financial Reporting Research Group Working Papers with number R-2005-04.

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    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: 25 Apr 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhb:aarbfr:2005-004

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Fuglesangs Allé 4, DK-8210 Aarhus V, Denmark
    Fax: + 45 86 15 19 43
    Web page: http://www.asb.dk/about/departments/bs.aspx
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    1. Paul A. Gompers & Joy L. Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2002. "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-32, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Heidi Vander Bauwhede & Marleen Willekens, 2008. "Disclosure on Corporate Governance in the European Union," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 101-115, 03.
    3. Frankel, Richard & Li, Xu, 2004. "Characteristics of a firm's information environment and the information asymmetry between insiders and outsiders," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 229-259, June.
    4. Yin-Hua Yeh, 2005. "Do Controlling Shareholders Enhance Corporate Value?," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 313-325, 03.
    5. Chi-Kun Ho, 2005. "Corporate Governance and Corporate Competitiveness: an international analysis," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 211-253, 03.
    6. Howard Sherman, 2004. "Corporate Governance Ratings," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 5-7, 01.
    7. Wolfgang Drobetz & Andreas Schillhofer & Heinz Zimmermann, 2004. "Corporate Governance and Expected Stock Returns: Evidence from Germany," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 10(2), pages 267-293.
    8. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
    9. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1999. "Global Financial Instability: Framework, Events, Issues," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 3-20, Fall.
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