The Costs of Entrenched Boards
Lucian A. Bebchuk
Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 78, pp. 409-433, 2005
Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 478
This paper investigates empirically how the value of publicly traded firms is affected by arrangements that protect management from removal. Staggered boards, which a majority of U.S. public companies have, substantially insulate boards from removal in either a hostile takeover or a proxy contest. We find that staggered boards are associated with an economically meaningful reduction in firm value (as measured by Tobin's Q). We also provide suggestive evidence that staggered boards bring about, and not merely reflect, an economically significant reduction in firm value. Finally, the correlation with reduced firm value is stronger for staggered boards that are established in the corporate charter (which shareholders cannot amend) than for staggered boards established in the company's bylaws (which shareholders can amend).
The data on which this paper is based is available for downloading at Lucian Bebchuk's home page.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: Corporate governance, Tobin's Q, firm value, agency costs, boards, directors, takeovers, tender offers, mergers and acquisitions, proxy fights, defensive tactics, antitakeover provisions, staggered boards, poison pills
JEL Classification: G30, G34, K22Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 8, 2003 ; Last revised: April 29, 2009
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