Shareholder valuations are economically and statistically positively correlated with independent directors? power, gauged by social network power centrality. Powerful independent directors? sudden deaths reduce shareholder value significantly; other independent directors? deaths do not. More powerful independent directors Granger cause higher valuations; the converse is not true.
Further tests associate more powerful independent directors with less value-destroying M&A, less free cash flow retention, more CEO accountability, and less earnings management. We posit that more powerful independent directors better detect and counter CEO missteps because of better access to information, greater credibility in challenging errant top managers, or both.
We investigate whether acquisition experience of executive and non-executive directors is priced in their remuneration. We find that acquisition experience generates a contractual premium, and the relative size of this premium is higher for non-...Read more
Are firms’ financial disclosure decisions affected by executive compensation at other firms? We find that a CEO’s pay gap relative to the highest CEO pay among industry peers, defined as industry tournament incentives, can lead to distortions in...Read more
A 1970 New York Times essay on corporate social responsibility by Milton Friedman is often said to have launched a shareholder-focused reorientation of managerial priorities in America’s public companies. The essay correspondingly is a primary...Read more
This paper critiques an assessment by Bebchuk and Tallarita (BT) of the relative merits of shareholder and stakeholder governance. BT’s paper argues that stakeholder governance is either nothing more than enlightened shareholder value, or it...Read more