Information Externalities in Corporate Governance
Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
December 20, 2011
AFA 2012 Chicago Meetings Paper
This paper studies the interactions between monitoring choices in different firms. Shareholders gather information about a common industry shock and subsequently intervene with management. An information externality arises because intervention transmits information about industry conditions to shareholders in competing firms. Closer monitoring in one firm improves the performance of industry peers. In equilibrium, all firms free-ride and there is underprovision of monitoring. A regulatory cap on CEO compensation can increase investor welfare. Disclosure of shareholder intervention is socially valuable and inefficiently low in equilibrium. Using U.S. data on forced CEO turnover, I provide empirical evidence of information spillovers across firms. Controlling for various performance measures, I find that CEOs who perform intermediately are significantly more likely to be dismissed after other CEOs in their industry have been fired. At the same time, CEOs’ turnover risk is not related to firings outside of their industry. The predictive power of peer decisions for turnover risk is significantly stronger for firms with low institutional blockholder ownership.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Corporate Governance, Monitoring, Externality, CEO Turnover, Regulation, CEO Pay
JEL Classification: G30, G34
Date posted: October 19, 2011 ; Last revised: December 31, 2011
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