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Ownership Concentration, Monitoring and Optimal Board Structure

  • Clara Graziano
  • Annalisa Luporini

The paper analyzes the optimal structure of the board of directors in a firm with a large shareholder sitting on the board. In a one-tier structure the sole board performs all tasks, while in a two-tier structure the management board is in charge of project selection and the supervisory board is in charge of monitoring. We consider the case in which the large shareholder sits on (and controls) the supervisory board but not on the management board. We show that such a two-tier structure can limit the interference of the large shareholder and can restore manager’s incentive to exert effort to become informed on new investment projects without reducing the large shareholder’s incentive to monitor the manager. This results in higher expected profits. The difference in profits can be sufficiently high to make the large shareholder prefer a two-tier board even if this implies that the manager selects his own preferred project. The paper has interesting policy implications since it suggests that two-tier boards can be a valuable option in Continental Europe where ownership structure is concentrated. It also offers support to some recent corporate governance reforms (like the so-called Vietti reform in Italy) that have introduced the possibility to choose between one-tier and two-tier structure of boards for listed firms.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-09/cesifo1_wp1543.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1543.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1543
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  1. Armin Falk & Michael Kosfeld, . "Distrust - The Hidden Cost of Control," IEW - Working Papers 193, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Burkart, Mike & Gromb, Denis & Panunzi, Fausto, 1997. "Large Shareholders, Monitoring, and the Value of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 693-728, August.
  3. Annalisa Luporini & Clara Graziano, 2010. "Optimal Delegation when the Large Shareholder has Multiple Tasks," Working Papers - Economics wp2010_05.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  4. Villalonga, Belen & Amit, Raphael, 2006. "How do family ownership, control and management affect firm value?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 385-417, May.
  5. Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2003. "Board Efficiency and Internal Corporate Control Mechanisms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 495-530, December.
  6. Renée B. Adams & Daniel Ferreira, 2007. "A Theory of Friendly Boards," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 217-250, 02.
  7. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2001. "Boards of Directors as an Endogenously Determined Institution: A Survey of the Economic Literature," NBER Working Papers 8161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1996. "Endogenously Chosen Boards of Directors and Their Monitoring of the CEO," Microeconomics 9602001, EconWPA, revised 09 Oct 1996.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2006. "The Role of Family in Family Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 73-96, Spring.
  10. Brunello, Giorgio & Graziano, Clara & Parigi, Bruno, 2001. "Executive compensation and firm performance in Italy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 133-161, January.
  11. David Hirshleifer & Anjan V. Thakor, 1998. "Corporate Control Through Board Dismissals and Takeovers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 489-520, December.
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