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

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  • Bradley, Michael
  • Chen, Dong

Abstract

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.

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  • Bradley, Michael & Chen, Dong, 2011. "Corporate governance and the cost of debt: Evidence from director limited liability and indemnification provisions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 83-107, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:1:p:83-107
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    Cited by:

    1. Dong Chen, 2014. "The Non-monotonic Effect of Board Independence on Credit Ratings," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 145-171, April.
    2. Chakravarty, Sugato & Rutherford, Leann G., 2017. "Do busy directors influence the cost of debt? An examination through the lens of takeover vulnerability," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 429-443.
    3. repec:eee:quaeco:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:255-272 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Alves, Paulo & Couto, Eduardo Barbosa & Francisco, Paulo Morais, 2015. "Board of directors’ composition and capital structure," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 1-32.
    5. Ghouma, Hatem, 2017. "How does managerial opportunism affect the cost of debt financing?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 13-29.
    6. Michael Bradley & Dong Chen, 2015. "Does Board Independence Reduce the Cost of Debt?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 15-47, March.
    7. repec:kap:jfsres:v:52:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10693-016-0252-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Andrade, Sandro C. & Bernile, Gennaro & Hood, Frederick M., 2014. "SOX, corporate transparency, and the cost of debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 145-165.
    9. Couwenberg, Oscar & Lubben, Stephen J., 2013. "Solving creditor problems in the twilight zone: Superfluous law and inadequate private solutions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 61-76.
    10. Aman, Hiroyuki & Nguyen, Pascal, 2013. "Does good governance matter to debtholders? Evidence from the credit ratings of Japanese firms," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 14-34.
    11. Chen, Dong, 2012. "Classified boards, the cost of debt, and firm performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3346-3365.
    12. Aleksandras Vytautas Rutkauskas & Viktorija Stasytytė & Nijolė Maknickienė, 2014. "Government debt as the integral portfolio of assets and liabilities generated by debt," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 22-40, February.
    13. Alves, Paulo & Couto, Eduardo & Francisco, Paulo, 2014. "Board of directors’ composition and financing choices," MPRA Paper 52973, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
    14. Lin, Chen & Officer, Micah S. & Wang, Rui & Zou, Hong, 2013. "Directors' and officers' liability insurance and loan spreads," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 37-60.
    15. Ge, Wenxia & Kim, Jeong-Bon & Li, Tiemei & Li, Yutao, 2016. "Offshore operations and bank loan contracting: Evidence from firms that set up subsidiaries in offshore financial centers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 335-355.
    16. Tanaka, Takanori, 2016. "How do managerial incentives affect the maturity structure of corporate public debt?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 130-146.
    17. Boyer, M. Martin & Stern, Léa H., 2012. "Is corporate governance risk valued? Evidence from directors' and officers' insurance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 349-372.
    18. repec:eee:jbfina:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:202-215 is not listed on IDEAS

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