The Costs of Entrenched Boards

36 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2004 Last revised: 9 Jul 2004

See all articles by Lucian A. Bebchuk

Lucian A. Bebchuk

Harvard Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alma Cohen

Harvard Law School; Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2004

Abstract

This paper investigates empirically how the value of publicly traded firms is overall affected by arrangements protecting management from removal. A majority of U.S. public companies have staggered boards that substantially insulate the board from removal via a hostile takeover or a proxy contest. We find that staggered boards are associated with an economically significant reduction in firm value (as measured by Tobin's Q). We also find evidence consistent with staggered boards' bringing about, and not merely reflecting, a lower firm value. Finally, the correlation with reduced firm value is stronger for staggered boards established in the corporate charter (which shareholders cannot amend) than for staggered boards established in the company's bylaws (which can be amended by shareholders).

Suggested Citation

Bebchuk, Lucian A. and Cohen, Alma, The Costs of Entrenched Boards (June 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10587. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=559237

Lucian A. Bebchuk (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Alma Cohen

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 496-4099 (Phone)
(617) 812-0554 (Fax)

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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