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.
Using a novel dataset of negative news coverage of the environmental and social (E&S) practices of firms around the world, we show that customers and investors can provide market discipline and impose their ethical standards on firm policies...Read more
A new regulation issued in the end of 2013 as part of the anti-corruption campaign in China leads to a wave of resignation of politically connected independent directors (PCID). I find while firms with PCIDs have...Read more
This paper studies how managers react to shareholder empowerment vis-à-vis governance provisions. We show that a staggered legislative change that increases noncompliance costs in the implementation of shareholder-initiated majority voting...Read more
Using a novel text-based measure of top management team diversity, covering over 70,000 top executives in over 6,500 U.S. firms from 1999 to 2014, we show that analyst forecasts are systematically more pessimistic for firms with more diverse top...Read more