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The Adoption of a Code of Best Practice: Incentive Implications


  • Eduard Alonso-Paulí

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)


We study the incentives induced by the adoption of a Code of Best Practice. Using an agency model, we analyze whether and when firms are interested in adopting a Code that allows the shareholder to reduce the manager's discretion. Our results suggest that if a voluntary Code is available, not all firms will be interested in it. In firms that do adopt it, the Code is not always used to reach more efficient outcomes. Regarding investment decisions, we show that a proper design of a Code can alleviate the distortions caused by the agency problem at the investment level. Finally, we analyze some features that a regulator protecting shareholder's wealth should consider. Our findings suggest that heterogeneity in Codes may be partially explained by differences in the distribution of firms or by different abilities of the regulator.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduard Alonso-Paulí, 2007. "The Adoption of a Code of Best Practice: Incentive Implications," Working Papers 07.18, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:07.18

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Elisabeth Dedman, 2000. "An Investigation into the Determinants of UK Board Structure Before and After Cadbury," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 133-153, April.
    3. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:30728046 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    6. Becht, Marco & Bolton, Patrick & Roell, Ailsa, 2003. "Corporate governance and control," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 1-109 Elsevier.
    7. Steven Young, 2000. "The Increasing Use of Non-Executive Directors: Its Impact on UK Board Structure and Governance Arrangements," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(9&10), pages 1311-1342.
    8. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
    9. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, 2004. "Trust in Agency," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 375-404, September.
    10. Park, Eun-Soo, 1995. "Incentive Contracting under Limited Liability," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 477-490, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:indorg:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:1-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eduard Alonso-Paulí & David Pérez-Castrillo, 2012. "Codes of Best Practice in competitive markets for managers," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(1), pages 113-141, January.

    More about this item


    Codes of Best Practice; Corporate Governance; Agency model; Limited Liability;

    JEL classification:

    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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