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Board independence, firm performance and ownership concentration: Evidence from Chile

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  • Lefort, Fernando
  • Urzúa, Francisco

Abstract

What determines the composition of companies' boards in the context of high ownership concentration? Are independent directors important as an internal governance mechanism in companies with high ownership concentration? Do markets favor companies whose controlling shareholders use voting rights to elect professional directors? Using a four-year, 160-company panel data, and controlling for endogeneity, this paper addresses these three related questions, finding that an increase in the proportion of outside directors affects company value. The paper also finds that companies that present more exacerbated agency conflicts tend to incorporate professional directors to the boards, in an effort to improve corporate governance and ameliorate the agency problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Lefort, Fernando & Urzúa, Francisco, 2008. "Board independence, firm performance and ownership concentration: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(6), pages 615-622, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:61:y:2008:i:6:p:615-622
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Fernando LEFORT & Eduardo WALKER, 2007. "Do Markets Penalize Agency Conflicts Between Controlling And Minority Shareholders? Evidence From Chile," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 45(3), pages 283-314, September.
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    7. 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.
    8. Fernando Lefort & Eduardo Walker, 2000. "Ownership And Capital Structure Of Chilean Conglomerates:Facts And Hypotheses For Governance," Abante, Escuela de Administracion. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 3(1), pages 3-27.
    9. 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, vol. 9(Apr), pages 7-26.
    10. Barnhart, Scott W & Rosenstein, Stuart, 1998. "Board Composition, Managerial Ownership, and Firm Performance: An Empirical Analysis," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1-16, November.
    11. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-1177, December.
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