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Board independence and competence

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  • Wagner, Alexander F.

Abstract

This paper analyzes board independence and competence as distinct, but inextricably linked aspects of board effectiveness. Competent directors add shareholder value because they have better information about the quality of projects. While a CEO cares about shareholder value, he also wants his board to behave loyally to him by agreeing to projects that give him private benefits. Because many aspects of the CEO-board relationship are not contractible, the paper studies a model of relational contracts, a tool that has hitherto been rarely used in work on corporate governance. The analysis reveals a tradeoff: Inefficient loyalty is endogenously easier to obtain from a less competent board. The implied conflict of interest between shareholders and the CEO is particularly pronounced in difficult times. Fortunately, the tradeoff does not arise with respect to efficient loyalty. Several empirical predictions flow from the model, some of which explain existing empirical facts while others are new.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner, Alexander F., 2011. "Board independence and competence," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-93, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:71-93
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:corfin:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:149-166 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wagner, Alexander F, 2011. "Relational contracts when the agent's productivity inside the relationship is correlated with outside opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers 8378, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Johannes Steinbrecher, 2016. "Corporate Governance und Unternehmenserfolg - Eine empirische Analyse des Zusammenhangs zwischen den Führungs-, Kontroll- und Anreizstrukturen und der Geschäftsentwicklung deutscher Banken," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 64.
    4. Pombo, Carlos & Gutiérrez, Luis H., 2011. "Outside directors, board interlocks and firm performance: Empirical evidence from Colombian business groups," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 251-277, July.
    5. repec:eee:pacfin:v:46:y:2017:i:pa:p:191-211 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Tchakoute Tchuigoua, Hubert, 2015. "Determinants of the governance quality of microfinance institutions," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 32-43.
    7. Y. Biondi & P. Giannoccolo & A. Reberioux, 2010. "Financial disclosure and the Board: A case for non-independent directors," Working Papers 689, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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