IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Who Appoints Them, What Do They Do? Evidence on Outside Directors from Japan

Listed author(s):
  • Yoshiro Miwa
  • J. Mark Ramseyer

Although reformers often claim Japanese firms appoint inefficiently few outside directors, the logic of market competition suggests otherwise. Given the competitive product, service, and capital markets in Japan, the firms that survive should disproportionately be firms that tend to appoint boards approaching their firm-specifically optimal structure. The resulting debate thus suggests a test: do firms with more outsiders do better? If Japanese firms do maintain suboptimal numbers of outsiders, then those with more outsiders should outperform those with fewer; if market constraints instead drive them toward their firm-specific optimum, then firm characteristics may determine board structure, but firm performance should show no observable relation to that structure. We explore the issue with data on the 1000 largest exchange-listed Japanese firms from 1986 to 1994. We first ask which firms tend to appoint which outsiders to their boards. We find the appointments decidedly nonrandom. Firms appoint directors from the banking industry when they borrow heavily, when they have fewer mortgageable assets, or when they are themselves in the service and finance industry. They appoint retired government bureaucrats when they are in construction and sell a large fraction of their output to government agencies, and they appoint other retired business executives when they have a dominant parent corporation or when they are in the construction industry and sell heavily to the private sector. Coupling OLS regressions with two-stage estimates on a subset of the data, we then ask whether the firms with more outside directors outperform those with fewer, and find that they do not. Instead, the regressions suggest-exactly as the logic of market competition predicts-that firms choose boards appropriate to them. Copyright Blackwell Publishing 2005.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 299-337

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:14:y:2005:i:2:p:299-337
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:14:y:2005:i:2:p:299-337. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.