IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Corporate governance and the cost of debt: Evidence from director limited liability and indemnification provisions

  • Bradley, Michael
  • Chen, Dong
Registered author(s):

    We find that firms that provide limited liability and indemnification for their directors enjoy higher credit ratings and lower yield spreads. We argue that such provisions insulate corporate directors from the discipline from potential litigation, and allow them to pursue their own interests by adopting low-risk, self-serving operating strategies, which coincidentally redound to the benefit of corporate bondholders. Our evidence further suggests that the reduction in the cost of debt may offset the costs of directorial shirking and suboptimal corporate policies occasioned by this insulation, which may explain why stockholders have little incentive to rescind these legal protections.

    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: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VFK-50R6KB3-1/2/8e81f775b651b02e18696e3e4c676281
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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 Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 83-107

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:1:p:83-107
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Bengt Holmstrom & I. Ricard & Joan Costa, 1984. "Managerial Incentives and Capital Management," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 729, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Becht, Marco & Bolton, Patrick & Roell, Ailsa, 2003. "Corporate governance and control," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 1-109 Elsevier.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Enjoying the Quiet Life? Corporate Governance and Managerial Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1043-1075, October.
    4. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
    5. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 5554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kose John & Lubomir Litov & Bernard Yeung, 2008. "Corporate Governance and Risk-Taking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1679-1728, 08.
    7. Lucian Bebchuk & Alma Cohen & Allen Ferrell, 2009. "What Matters in Corporate Governance?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(2), pages 783-827, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    10. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    11. Jay Dahya & John J. McConnell & Nickolaos G. Travlos, 2002. "The Cadbury Committee, Corporate Performance, and Top Management Turnover," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 461-483, 02.
    12. Kempf, Alexander & Ruenzi, Stefan & Thiele, Tanja, 2009. "Employment risk, compensation incentives, and managerial risk taking: Evidence from the mutual fund industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 92-108, April.
    13. Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2008. "Bank Governance, Regulation, and Risk Taking," NBER Working Papers 14113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Sanjeev Bhojraj & Partha Sengupta, 2003. "Effect of Corporate Governance on Bond Ratings and Yields: The Role of Institutional Investors and Outside Directors," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76(3), pages 455-476, July.
    15. 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.
    16. Lucian Bebchuk & Alma Cohen, 2004. "The Costs of Entrenched Boards," NBER Working Papers 10587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Sudheer Chava & Dmitry Livdan & Amiyatosh Purnanandam, 2009. "Do Shareholder Rights Affect the Cost of Bank Loans?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(8), pages 2973-3004, August.
    18. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
    19. Eliezer M. Fich, 2005. "Are Some Outside Directors Better than Others? Evidence from Director Appointments by Fortune 1000 Firms," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(5), pages 1943-1972, September.
    20. Farrell, Kathleen A & Whidbee, David A, 2000. "The Consequences of Forced CEO Succession for Outside Directors," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(4), pages 597-627, October.
    21. Heron, Randall A. & Lewellen, Wilbur G., 1998. "An Empirical Analysis of the Reincorporation Decision," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 549-568, December.
    22. Core, John E, 2000. "The Directors' and Officers' Insurance Premium: An Outside Assessment of the Quality of Corporate Governance," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 449-77, October.
    23. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-64, April.
    24. Renée B. Adams & Heitor Almeida & Daniel Ferreira, 2005. "Powerful CEOs and Their Impact on Corporate Performance," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 1403-1432.
    25. Bodie, Zvi & Taggart, Robert A, Jr, 1978. "Future Investment Opportunities and the Value of the Call Provision on a Bond," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1187-1200, September.
    26. Ertugrul, Mine & Hegde, Shantaram, 2008. "Board compensation practices and agency costs of debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 512-531, December.
    27. Hirshleifer, David & Thakor, Anjan V, 1992. "Managerial Conservatism, Project Choice, and Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 437-70.
    28. David Yermack, 2004. "Remuneration, Retention, and Reputation Incentives for Outside Directors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2281-2308, October.
    29. 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.
    30. Zhou, Xianming, 2001. "Understanding the determinants of managerial ownership and the link between ownership and performance: comment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 559-571, December.
    31. Weisbach, Michael S., 1988. "Outside directors and CEO turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 431-460, January.
    32. Boone, Audra L. & Casares Field, Laura & Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Raheja, Charu G., 2007. "The determinants of corporate board size and composition: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 66-101, July.
    33. Sattar A. Mansi & William F. Maxwell & John K. Wald, 2009. "Creditor Protection Laws and the Cost of Debt," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 701-717, November.
    34. Ashbaugh-Skaife, Hollis & Collins, Daniel W. & LaFond, Ryan, 2006. "The effects of corporate governance on firms' credit ratings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 203-243, October.
    35. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2005. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," NBER Working Papers 11280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Ronald W. Masulis & Cong Wang & Fei Xie, 2007. "Corporate Governance and Acquirer Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1851-1889, 08.
    37. Lehn, Kenneth & Poulsen, Annette, 1989. " Free Cash Flow and Stockholder Gains in Going Private Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 771-87, July.
    38. Bradley, Michael & Desai, Anand & Kim, E. Han, 1988. "Synergistic gains from corporate acquisitions and their division between the stockholders of target and acquiring firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-40, May.
    39. Mark R. Huson, 2001. "Internal Monitoring Mechanisms and CEO Turnover: A Long-Term Perspective," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2265-2297, December.
    40. Core, John E. & Holthausen, Robert W. & Larcker, David F., 1999. "Corporate governance, chief executive officer compensation, and firm performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 371-406, March.
    41. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Daniel, Naveen D. & Naveen, Lalitha, 2008. "Boards: Does one size fit all," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 329-356, February.
    42. Romano, Roberta, 1991. "The Shareholder Suit: Litigation without Foundation?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 55-87, Spring.
    43. John M. R. Chalmers & Larry Y. Dann & Jarrad Harford, 2002. "Managerial Opportunism? Evidence from Directors' and Officers' Insurance Purchases," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 609-636, 04.
    44. Denis, David J. & Denis, Diane K. & Sarin, Atulya, 1997. "Ownership structure and top executive turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 193-221, August.
    45. Klock, Mark S. & Mansi, Sattar A. & Maxwell, William F., 2005. "Does Corporate Governance Matter to Bondholders?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(04), pages 693-719, December.
    46. Matthew T. Billett & Tao-Hsien Dolly King & David C. Mauer, 2004. "Bondholder Wealth Effects in Mergers and Acquisitions: New Evidence from the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 107-135, 02.
    47. Cheng, Shijun, 2008. "Board size and the variability of corporate performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 157-176, January.
    48. Pathan, Shams, 2009. "Strong boards, CEO power and bank risk-taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1340-1350, July.
    49. Vahan Janjigian & Paul J. Bolster, 1990. "The Elimination Of Director Liability And Stockholder Returns: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 13(1), pages 53-60, 03.
    50. Sudheer Chava & Praveen Kumar & Arthur Warga, 2010. "Managerial Agency and Bond Covenants," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(3), pages 1120-1148, March.
    51. Roberta Romano, 2005. "The States as a Laboratory: Legal Innovation and State Competition for Corporate Charters," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2625, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jul 2006.
    52. Qiu, Jiaping & Yu, Fan, 2009. "The market for corporate control and the cost of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 505-524, September.
    53. Booth, James R. & Deli, Daniel N., 1996. "Factors affecting the number of outside directorships held by CEOs," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 81-104, January.
    54. Eliezer M. Fich & Anil Shivdasani, 2006. "Are Busy Boards Effective Monitors?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 689-724, 04.
    55. Yakov Amihud & Baruch Lev, 1981. "Risk Reduction as a Managerial Motive for Conglomerate Mergers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 605-617, Autumn.
    56. Brook, Yaron & Rao, Ramesh K. S., 1994. "Shareholder Wealth Effects of Directors' Liability Limitation Provisions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(03), pages 481-497, September.
    57. Francis, Bill B. & Hasan, Iftekhar & John, Kose & Waisman, Maya, 2010. "The effect of state antitakeover laws on the firm's bondholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 127-154, April.
    58. Ortiz-Molina, Hernan, 2006. "Top Management Incentives and the Pricing of Corporate Public Debt," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 317-340, June.
    59. Bates, Thomas W. & Becher, David A. & Lemmon, Michael L., 2008. "Board classification and managerial entrenchment: Evidence from the market for corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 656-677, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:1:p:83-107. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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.