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Board Size Effects in Closely Held Corporations

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Author Info

  • Bennedsen, Morten

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Kongsted, Hans Christian

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Nielsen, Kasper Meisner

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

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    Abstract

    Previous work on board size effects in closely held corporations has established a negative correlation between board size and firm performance. We argue that this work has been incomplete in analysing the causal relationship due to lack of ownership information and weak identification strategies in simultanous equation analysis. In the present paper we reexamine the causal relationship between board size and firm performance using a dataset of more than 5,000 small and medium sized closely held corporations with complete ownership information and detailed accounting data. We test the potential endogeneity of board size by using a new instrument given by the number of children of the founders of the firms. Our analysis shows that board size can be taken as exogenous in the performance equation. Furthermore, based on a flexible model specification we find that there is no empirical evidence of adverse board size effects in the typical range of three to six board members. Finally, we find a significantly negative board size effect in the minority of closely held firms which have comparatively large boards of seven or more members.

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    File URL: http://openarchive.cbs.dk/cbsweb/handle/10398/7566
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-2004.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: 07 Sep 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsnow:2004_009

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
    Phone: 38 15 25 75
    Fax: 38 15 34 99
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    Web page: http://www.cbs.dk/departments/econ/
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    Keywords: board size effects; boards;

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    References

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    1. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2003. "Boards of directors as an endogenously determined institution: a survey of the economic literature," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 7-26.
    2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1839, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, . "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," CRSP working papers 357, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    4. Jensen, Michael C, 1993. " The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 831-80, July.
    5. Bennedsen, Morten & Wolfenzon, Daniel, 2000. "The balance of power in closely held corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 113-139.
    6. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
    7. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
    8. Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
    9. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    10. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
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