The Brain Gain of Corporate Boards: A Natural Experiment from China
Stockholm School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Central University of Finance and Economics - School of Accountancy
Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Finance; China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR)
October 30, 2012
ECGI - Finance Working Paper No. 343/2013
We study the impact of directors with foreign experience on firms in emerging markets. To establish causality, we use a unique dataset from China and exploit that at different times, Chinese provinces introduced policies to attract highly talented emigrants. These policies led to an exogenous increase in the supply of Chinese individuals with foreign experience in the local labor market and ultimately increased the likelihood that firms in these provinces had directors with foreign experience in comparison to firms with a similarly high demand for these skills elsewhere. We document that hiring directors with foreign experience results in higher firm valuation, productivity, and profitability. Furthermore, corporate governance improves and firms are more likely to make international acquisitions, to export, and to raise funds internationally. These results indicate that the transfer of knowledge to emerging markets occurs not only through foreign investment, but also through labor flows and, in particular, return migration.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 62
Keywords: Corporate Boards, Corporate Governance, Human Capital, Firm Performance, Firm Productivity
JEL Classification: D22, D80, F21, F22, G30, J24working papers series
Date posted: December 1, 2011 ; Last revised: January 31, 2013
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