Directors: Older and Wiser, or Too Old to Govern?
67 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2018 Last revised: 31 May 2022
Date Written: May 15, 2022
An unintended consequence of recent governance reforms in the U.S. is firms’ greater reliance on older director candidates, resulting in noticeable board aging. We investigate this phenomenon’s implications for corporate governance. We document that older independent directors exhibit poorer board meeting attendance, are less likely to serve on or chair key board committees and receive less shareholder support in annual elections. These directors are associated with weaker board oversight in acquisitions, CEO turnovers, executive compensation, and financial reporting. However, they can also provide particularly valuable advice when they have specialized experience or when firms have greater advisory needs.
Keywords: boardroom aging, older directors, board monitoring, board advising, agency problems
JEL Classification: G34, G32, M43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation