Determinants of board and audit committee meeting frequency: Evidence from Italian companies
Purpose – This purpose of this paper is to investigate the determinants of board and audit committee meeting frequency. Design/methodology/approach – The determinants studied are related to the ownership structure and to the board characteristics. The study is conducted in an agency setting featured by high ownership concentration and large insider shareholders. Hypotheses are developed based on agency theory. The empirical evidence is provided by a sample of Italian listed companies. Negative binomial regression is used in the multivariate analysis to test the relationships. Robustness checks provide further empirical support. Findings – The paper finds that insider ownership negatively impacts – either on the board or on the audit committee meeting frequency – whilst the proportion of independent directors in the board has a positive impact. This evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that insider ownership and board independent monitoring are substitute control mechanisms. The findings also show that audit committees are more active in larger firms. Originality/value – The paper provides an agency theory-based explanation of the board and the audit committee meeting frequency, in a setting featured by large controlling shareholders.
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Volume (Year): 26 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
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