Endogenously Informed Boards and the Optimality of Board Power

Eitan Goldman

Indiana University - Department of Finance

March 14, 2013

This paper develops a theory of board power when the board of directors collects private information about the CEOs ability to make value-increasing investments. When CEO ability is unknown ex-ante, we show that board power can be helpful in inducing information production by the board and in eliminating over-investment by managers with low ability. However, we find that board power also comes at a cost of rejecting good investments by highly talented managers when the board is uninformed and hence has to rely on noisy public information. The paper thus highlights the importance of the interaction between board power and the public and private information environment faced by the board. Modeling explicitly the power of the board to reject major investment decisions we derive several novel implications on how board power impact managerial turnover, managerial investment, and overall firm value. For example, we find conditions under which more powerful boards will be associated with a lower sensitivity of managerial turnover to negative market signals as well as in boards that discourage efficient investments. The paper thus highlights some of the costs associated with awarding the board of directors with too much power and hence identifies the conditions under which increases in board power enhance shareholder value.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: board, information, power

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Date posted: March 22, 2012 ; Last revised: March 15, 2013

Suggested Citation

Goldman, Eitan, Endogenously Informed Boards and the Optimality of Board Power (March 14, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2022947 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2022947

Contact Information

Eitan Goldman (Contact Author)
Indiana University - Department of Finance ( email )
1309 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-856-0749 (Phone)
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