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How do public companies adjust their board structures?

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  • Cicero, David
  • Wintoki, M. Babajide
  • Yang, Tina

Abstract

We show that public companies frequently changed their board structures before implementation of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, with two-thirds of firms changing board size or independence during an average two-year period. Board changes were associated with changes in firm-specific fundamentals, but the rate of change toward predicted structures was negatively associated with the level of CEO influence. Companies changed board structures in either direction as underlying firm fundamentals changed, consistent with the pursuit of economically efficient board structures. However, board changes have become less frequent since the Sarbanes–Oxley Act was enacted. We provide some evidence that companies became less likely to decrease board independence when changes in fundamentals suggested they should, which may reflect a loss of economic efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Cicero, David & Wintoki, M. Babajide & Yang, Tina, 2013. "How do public companies adjust their board structures?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 108-127.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:23:y:2013:i:c:p:108-127
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2013.08.001
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    Cited by:

    1. White, Joshua T. & Woidtke, Tracie & Black, Harold A. & Schweitzer, Robert L., 2014. "Appointments of academic directors," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 135-151.
    2. Yu, Mei & Ashton, John K., 2015. "Board leadership structure for Chinese public listed companies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 236-248.
    3. Yang, Tina & Zhao, Shan, 2014. "CEO duality and firm performance: Evidence from an exogenous shock to the competitive environment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 534-552.
    4. repec:eee:mulfin:v:42-43:y:2017:i::p:11-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sila, Vathunyoo & Gonzalez, Angelica & Hagendorff, Jens, 2016. "Women on board: Does boardroom gender diversity affect firm risk?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 26-53.
    6. Crespí-Cladera, Rafel & Pascual-Fuster, Bartolomé, 2014. "Does the independence of independent directors matter?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 116-134.
    7. John, Kose & Knyazeva, Anzhela & Knyazeva, Diana, 2015. "Governance and Payout Precommitment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 101-117.
    8. Benjamin S. Kay & Cindy M. Vojtech, 2015. "Corporate Governance Responses to Director Rule Changes," Staff Discussion Papers 15-02, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    9. Bereskin, Frederick L. & Kim, Bushik & Oh, Frederick Dongchuhl, 2015. "Do credit rating concerns lead to better corporate governance? Evidence from Korea," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 35(PB), pages 592-608.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Board structure; Board reform; Corporate governance; Regulation; Endogeneity; Dynamic adjustment;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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