IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nya/albaec/08-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the Objective of Corporate Boards: Theory and Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Illoong Kwon
  • Katherine Guthrie
  • Jan Sokolowsky

Abstract

Abstract: There are two views on board objectives: (i) boards act as monitors with the objective to maximize firms' long-term fundamental values; and (ii) boards act myopically with a focus on firms' short-term market values. We propose a principal-agent model linking CEO incentive pay to earnings overstatement that allows us to differentiate between these objectives empirically. In response to an increase in the cost of overstating earnings, the model predicts an increase in CEO incentives if boards act as monitors, but a decrease in CEO incentives if boards are myopic. We find strong evidence of a decrease in CEO incentives around the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Moreover, the model predicts that capital market pressure makes boards more myopic. We document a positive relationship between capital market pressure and CEO incentives. Around SOX, CEO incentives also fall by more in firms with high capital market pressure, as predicted by the model. Our results strongly support the myopic board view.

Suggested Citation

  • Illoong Kwon & Katherine Guthrie & Jan Sokolowsky, 2008. "On the Objective of Corporate Boards: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers 08-08, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:08-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/2008/Board.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2005. "CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2661-2700, December.
    2. Gaspar, Jose-Miguel & Massa, Massimo & Matos, Pedro, 2005. "Shareholder investment horizons and the market for corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 135-165, April.
    3. Jeremy C. Stein, 1989. "Efficient Capital Markets, Inefficient Firms: A Model of Myopic Corporate Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 655-669.
    4. Kwon, Illoong & Yeo, Eunjung, 2009. "Overstatement and rational market expectation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 9-12, July.
    5. D'Avolio, Gene, 2002. "The market for borrowing stock," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 271-306.
    6. Lamont, Owen & Polk, Christopher & Saa-Requejo, Jesus, 2001. "Financial Constraints and Stock Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 529-554.
    7. Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Does Competition Destroy Ethical Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 414-418, May.
    8. Alon Brav & Wei Jiang & Frank Partnoy & Randall Thomas, 2008. "Hedge Fund Activism, Corporate Governance, and Firm Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1729-1775, August.
    9. Paul Gompers & Joy Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 107-156.
    10. Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 468-505, June.
    11. Bergman, Nittai K. & Jenter, Dirk, 2007. "Employee sentiment and stock option compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 667-712, June.
    12. Simi Kedia & Thomas Philippon, 2009. "The Economics of Fraudulent Accounting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2169-2199, June.
    13. Geczy, Christopher C. & Musto, David K. & Reed, Adam V., 2002. "Stocks are special too: an analysis of the equity lending market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 241-269.
    14. Jones, Charles M. & Lamont, Owen A., 2002. "Short-sale constraints and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 207-239.
    15. Patrick Bolton & José Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2006. "Executive Compensation and Short-Termist Behaviour in Speculative Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 577-610.
    16. Cornett, Marcia Millon & Marcus, Alan J. & Tehranian, Hassan, 2008. "Corporate governance and pay-for-performance: The impact of earnings management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 357-373, February.
    17. Goldman, Eitan & Slezak, Steve L., 2006. "An equilibrium model of incentive contracts in the presence of information manipulation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 603-626, June.
    18. Rangan, Srinivasan, 1998. "Earnings management and the performance of seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 101-122, October.
    19. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    20. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1990. "Equilibrium Short Horizons of Investors and Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 148-153, May.
    21. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932.
    22. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    23. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Bergstresser, Daniel & Philippon, Thomas, 2006. "CEO incentives and earnings management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 511-529, June.
    25. Burns, Natasha & Kedia, Simi, 2006. "The impact of performance-based compensation on misreporting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 35-67, January.
    26. Ivo Welch & Siew Hong Teoh & T.J. Wong, 1995. "Earnings Management and The Post-Issue Underperformance in Seasoned Equity Offerings," Finance 9-95., University of California at Los Angeles.
    27. Denis, David J. & Hanouna, Paul & Sarin, Atulya, 2006. "Is there a dark side to incentive compensation?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 467-488, June.
    28. Fischer, Paul E. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 2004. "Disclosure bias," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 223-250, December.
    29. Boone, Audra L. & Casares Field, Laura & Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Raheja, Charu G., 2007. "The determinants of corporate board size and composition: An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 66-101, July.
    30. Toni M. Whited & Guojun Wu, 2006. "Financial Constraints Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 531-559.
    31. Cindy Durtschi & Peter Easton, 2005. "Earnings Management? The Shapes of the Frequency Distributions of Earnings Metrics Are Not Evidence Ipso Facto," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 557-592, September.
    32. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    33. Ray Ball & Lakshmanan Shivakumar, 2006. "The Role of Accruals in Asymmetrically Timely Gain and Loss Recognition," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 207-242, May.
    34. Marco Becht & Julian Franks & Colin Mayer & Stefano Rossi, 2010. "Returns to Shareholder Activism: Evidence from a Clinical Study of the Hermes UK Focus Fund," NBER Chapters,in: Corporate Governance National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Kothari, S.P. & Leone, Andrew J. & Wasley, Charles E., 2005. "Performance matched discretionary accrual measures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 163-197, February.
    36. Siew Hong Teoh & Ivo Welch & T.J. Wong, 1998. "Earnings Management and the Long-Run Market Performance of Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1935-1974, December.
    37. 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.
    38. Teoh, Siew Hong & Welch, Ivo & Wong, T. J., 1998. "Earnings management and the underperformance of seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 63-99, October.
    39. DeFond, Mark L. & Jiambalvo, James, 1994. "Debt covenant violation and manipulation of accruals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 145-176, January.
    40. Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
    41. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kwon, Illoong & Yeo, Eunjung, 2009. "Overstatement and rational market expectation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 9-12, July.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:nya:albaec:08-08. 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: (Byoung Park). 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 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.

    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.