IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do Some Outside Directors Play a Political Role?


  • Agrawal, Anup
  • Knoeber, Charles R


If outside directors with backgrounds in politics and in law play a political role, they will be more important on the boards of firms for which politics matters more. We conduct three tests. First, for a sample of manufacturing firms, we find that politically experienced directors are more prevalent in firms where sales to government, exports, and lobbying are greater; lawyer-directors are more prevalent in firms where costs of environmental regulation are higher; and both are more prevalent in larger firms. Second, for a sample of electric utilities during the 1990s, when the advent of retail competition made politics more important, we find increased incidence of politically experienced directors. Finally, we explore whether a governmental taste for diversity creates a political role for women directors. Although we document increased incidence of women directors over time, we find little evidence that women directors play a political role. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Agrawal, Anup & Knoeber, Charles R, 2001. "Do Some Outside Directors Play a Political Role?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 179-198, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:44:y:2001:i:1:p:179-98
    DOI: 10.1086/320271

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Song, Moon H. & Walkling, Ralph A., 1993. "The Impact of Managerial Ownership on Acquisition Attempts and Target Shareholder Wealth," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 439-457, December.
    2. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    3. Brickley, James A & James, Christopher M, 1987. "The Takeover Market, Corporate Board Composition, and Ownership Structure: The Case of Banking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 161-180, April.
    4. Willard T. Carleton & James M. Nelson & Michael S. Weisbach, 1998. "The Influence of Institutions on Corporate Governance through Private Negotiations: Evidence from TIAA-CREF," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1335-1362, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Renneboog, L.D.R. & Szilagyi, P.G., 2009. "Shareholder Activism through the Proxy Process," Other publications TiSEM cc25d736-2965-4511-b100-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Arunima Haldar & S. V. D. Nageswara Rao & Kirankumar S. Momaya, 2016. "Can Flexibility in Corporate Governance Enhance International Competitiveness? Evidence from Knowledge-Based Industries in India," Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, Springer;Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management, vol. 17(4), pages 389-402, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Stuart L. Gillan & Laura T. Starks, 2002. "Institutional Investors, Corporate Ownership, and Corporate Governance: Global Perspectives," WIDER Working Paper Series DP2002-09, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Rodríguez Domínguez, Luis & Noguera Gámez, Ligia Carolina, 2014. "Corporate reporting on risks: Evidence from Spanish companies," Revista de Contabilidad - Spanish Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 116-129.
    6. Franco Ernesto Rubino & Paolo Tenuta & Domenico Rocco Cambrea, 2017. "Board characteristics effects on performance in family and non-family business: a multi-theoretical approach," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 21(3), pages 623-658, September.
    7. Premepeh, kwadwo Boateng & Odartei-Mills, Eugene, 2015. "Corporate governance structure and shareholder wealth maximisation," MPRA Paper 68087, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Borochin, Paul & Knopf, John D., 2021. "Do managers seek control and entrenchment?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    9. Siala Bouaziz Souha & Jarboui Anis & David McMillan, 2016. "Corporate governance and firm characteristics as explanatory factors of shareholder activism: Validation through the French context," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1150407-115, December.
    10. Jiang, George J. & Liu, Chang, 2021. "Getting on board: The monitoring effect of institutional directors," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    11. Jacoby, Gady & Liu, Mingzhi & Wang, Yefeng & Wu, Zhenyu & Zhang, Ying, 2019. "Corporate governance, external control, and environmental information transparency: Evidence from emerging markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 269-283.
    12. Mak, Y. T. & Roush, M. L., 2000. "Factors Affecting the Characteristics of Boards of Directors: An Empirical Study of New Zealand Initial Public Offering Firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 147-159, February.
    13. Bliss, Mark A. & Gul, Ferdinand A. & Majid, Abdul, 2011. "Do political connections affect the role of independent audit committees and CEO Duality? Some evidence from Malaysian audit pricing," Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 82-98.
    14. Sokolyk, Tatyana, 2011. "The effects of antitakeover provisions on acquisition targets," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 612-627, June.
    15. Thomas Smythe & Chris McNeil & Philip English, 2015. "When does CalPERS’ activism add value?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 39(4), pages 641-660, October.
    16. M. Andrew Fields & Phyllis Y. Keys, 2003. "The Emergence of Corporate Governance from Wall St. to Main St.: Outside Directors, Board Diversity, Earnings Management, and Managerial Incentives to Bear Risk," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 1-24, February.
    17. Hadlock, Charles & Houston, Joel & Ryngaert, Michael, 1999. "The role of managerial incentives in bank acquisitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 221-249, February.
    18. Etienne Redor, 2016. "Board attributes and shareholder wealth in mergers and acquisitions: a survey of the literature," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(4), pages 789-821, December.
    19. Paul McGuinness & Kevin Lam & João Vieito, 2015. "Gender and other major board characteristics in China: Explaining corporate dividend policy and governance," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 989-1038, December.
    20. Frederick L. Bereskin & Clifford W. Smith Jr., 2014. "Mechanisms of Board Turnover: Evidence From Backdating," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 26(2), pages 65-78, June.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:44:y:2001:i:1:p:179-98. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Journals Division (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.