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Rating the ratings: How good are commercial governance ratings?

Author

Listed:
  • Daines, Robert M.
  • Gow, Ian D.
  • Larcker, David F.

Abstract

Proxy advisory and corporate governance rating firms (such as RiskMetrics/Institutional Shareholder Services, GovernanceMetrics International, and The Corporate Library) play an increasingly important role in U.S. public markets. They rank the quality of firm corporate governance, advise shareholders how to vote, and sometimes press for governance changes. We examine whether commercially available corporate governance rankings provide useful information for shareholders. Our results suggest that they do not. Commercial ratings do not predict governance-related outcomes with the precision or strength necessary to support the bold claims made by most of these firms. Moreover, we find little or no relation between the governance ratings provided by RiskMetrics with either their voting recommendations or the actual votes by shareholders on proxy proposals.

Suggested Citation

  • Daines, Robert M. & Gow, Ian D. & Larcker, David F., 2010. "Rating the ratings: How good are commercial governance ratings?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 439-461, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:98:y:2010:i:3:p:439-461
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Roberto Wessels & Tom J. Wansbeek & Lammertjan Dam, 2016. "What is the Relation (if any) Between a Firm's Corporate Governance Arrangements and its Financial Performance?," Multinational Finance Journal, Multinational Finance Journal, vol. 20(4), pages 323-354, December.
    4. Al-Malkawi, Husam-Aldin N. & Pillai, Rekha & Bhatti, M.I., 2014. "Corporate governance practices in emerging markets: The case of GCC countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 133-141.
    5. repec:kap:jmgtgv:v:21:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10997-016-9352-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Hayat, Raphie & Kabir Hassan, M., 2017. "Does an Islamic label indicate good corporate governance?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 159-174.
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    8. Kim, Irene & Skinner, Douglas J., 2012. "Measuring securities litigation risk," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 290-310.
    9. Matos, Pedro Verga & Faustino, Horácio C., 2012. "Beta-convergence and sigma-convergence in corporate governance in Europe," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2198-2204.
    10. Oskar Kowalewski, 2012. "Corporate Governance and Pension Fund Performance," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 6(1), March.
    11. Gerhard Schnyder, 2012. "Measuring Corporate Governance: Lessons from the 'Bundles Approach'," Working Papers wp438, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
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    14. Alexander B. Matthies, 2013. "Empirical Research on Corporate Credit-Ratings: A Literature Review," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-003, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    15. Isil Erel & Léa H. Stern & Chenhao Tan & Michael S. Weisbach, 2018. "Selecting Directors Using Machine Learning," NBER Working Papers 24435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Larcker, David F. & Ormazabal, Gaizka & Taylor, Daniel J., 2011. "The market reaction to corporate governance regulation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 431-448, August.
    17. Steve Sauerwald & J. (Hans) Van Oosterhout & Marc Van Essen, 2016. "Expressive Shareholder Democracy: A Multilevel Study of Shareholder Dissent in 15 Western European Countries," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 520-551, June.
    18. repec:eee:glofin:v:36:y:2018:i:c:p:78-95 is not listed on IDEAS

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