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It pays to have friends

Author

Listed:
  • Hwang, Byoung-Hyoun
  • Kim, Seoyoung

Abstract

Currently, a director is classified as independent if he or she has neither financial nor familial ties to the CEO or to the firm. We add another dimension: social ties. Using a unique data set, we find that 87% of boards are conventionally independent but that only 62% are conventionally and socially independent. Furthermore, firms whose boards are conventionally and socially independent award a significantly lower level of compensation, exhibit stronger pay-performance sensitivity, and exhibit stronger turnover-performance sensitivity than firms whose boards are only conventionally independent. Our results suggest that social ties do matter and that, consequently, a considerable percentage of the conventionally independent boards are substantively not.

Suggested Citation

  • Hwang, Byoung-Hyoun & Kim, Seoyoung, 2009. "It pays to have friends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 138-158, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:93:y:2009:i:1:p:138-158
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    References listed on IDEAS

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