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Do Social Networks Encourage Risk-Taking? Evidence from Bank CEOs

Author

Listed:
  • Yiwei Fang
  • Iftekhar Hasan
  • LiuLing Liu
  • Haizhi Wang

Abstract

This paper studies how CEO social networks affect bank risk-taking. Using a sample of 481 publicly traded U.S. banks, we find that bank risk increases with CEOs’ social networks. Our results are robust with a bank fixed-effects model and a difference-in-difference approach, as well as with various alternative bank risk measures. Alternative explanations such as corporate governance, managerial ownership, compensation, or CEO ability do not drive the findings. We evaluate potential channels through which social networks affect bank risk and find that CEO social networks increase bank risk more when banks face opaque information environments, when CEO job market conditions worsen, and when there are higher odds of group-think mentality in the networks. We further find that social networks present banks with an inefficient trade-off between risk and return, showing a “dark side” of social networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Yiwei Fang & Iftekhar Hasan & LiuLing Liu & Haizhi Wang, 2016. "Do Social Networks Encourage Risk-Taking? Evidence from Bank CEOs," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1641, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:baf:cbafwp:cbafwp1641
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Risk-taking; social networks; bank CEOs;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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