The Role of Corporate Board Structure in Attracting Foreign Investors
45 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2014 Last revised: 4 Jul 2014
Date Written: March 27, 2014
A long-recognized phenomenon in capital markets is the underinvestment in foreign equity securities, known as equity home bias. Our study examines the effect of board independence on the firms’ ability to attract foreign equity capital. After accounting for potential endogeneity, we document that U.S. and non-U.S. foreign investors exhibit a strong preference for firms with more independent corporate boards. Further, our analysis indicates that the positive relation between board independence and foreign ownership is significantly stronger in countries with less developed legal institutions and poor external protection of investor rights. We suggest that it is in these countries that firm-determined characteristics such as independent boards can be most beneficial in attracting capital. We also find that institutional investors are more responsive to the impact of independent corporate boards than are other types of investors.
Keywords: Equity home bias, Foreign ownership, Board structure, Board independence, International corporate governance
JEL Classification: G34, G38, O1, K2, K4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation