Working Paper

Differences in Governance Practices between U.S. and Foreign Firms: Measurement, Causes, and Consequences

We construct a firm-level governance index that increases with minority shareholder protection. Compared to U.S. matching firms, only 12.68% of foreign firms have a higher index. The value of foreign firms falls as their index decreases relative...Read more

Reena Aggarwal
Isil Erel
René Stulz
01 July 2007


We study the effect of staggered boards on long-run firm value using a natural experiment: a 1990 law that imposed a staggered board on all firms incorporated in Massachusetts. We find a significant and positive average (and median) increase in Tobins Q for innovating firms, particularly those facing greater Wall Street scrutiny. This increase in value appears to come, at least in part, from increased investment in R&D and capital expenditures and from valuable patents.

June 26 2019