Trainspotting: Board Appointments in Private Firms

46 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2019 Last revised: 27 Mar 2023

See all articles by Audinga Baltrunaite

Audinga Baltrunaite

Bank of Italy

Egle Karmaziene

VU University Amsterdam; Swedish House of Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 24, 2023


This study examines how the labor market for corporate directors impacts board appointments in Italian private firms. Using the high-speed railway expansion as an exogenous shock, we find that an increase in supply of non-local directors leads to higher degree of positive assortative matching. High-quality firms improve their board quality at the expense of low-quality firms. The latter struggle to find substitutes and experience difficulty attracting high-quality directors, which further cascades into worse firm performance. Overall, the supply of non-local directors relaxes constraints on positive assortative matching but also contributes to overall firm inequality.

Keywords: director supply, board of directors, match quality

JEL Classification: G32, G34

Suggested Citation

Baltrunaite, Audinga and Karmaziene, Egle, Trainspotting: Board Appointments in Private Firms (March 24, 2023). Bank of Italy Temi di Discussione (Working Paper) No. 1278, Available at SSRN: or

Audinga Baltrunaite

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184

Egle Karmaziene (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV

Swedish House of Finance ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
Stockholm, 111 60

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