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Top Managers' Political Conservatism and External Governance Choices

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Issue Date
2016-06
Publisher
College of Business Administration (경영대학)
Citation
Seoul Journal of Business, Vol.22 No.1, pp. 65-96
Keywords
CEO political conservatismcorporate governance conservatism external governance choicesE Indexentrenchment discountG Indexlimits to amend bylawsstaggered boardsupermajority JEL Classification: G34
Abstract
We develop a theory of corporate governance conservatism that reflects the preference of politically conservative chief executive officers (CEOs) for stability and continuity in corporate governance provisions without managerial entrenchment. Our theory suggests that conservative CEOs tend to prefer corporate governance provisions against hostile takeover and drastic board turnover, but their emphasis on hard work and self-discipline are likely to lead them to run their firms more efficiently with less debt. Using a sample of 2,339 U.S. corporations in the 1996-2006 period, we find strong empirical support for this new theory. Firms with Republican CEOs, who are known to be politically conservative, are more likely to stagger the terms and elections of directors, limit shareholders' ability to amend corporate bylaws and require supermajority for approval of mergers, but those CEOs are not associated with a significant impairment in shareholders' value. Rather, we find firms run by Republican CEOs tend to have higher return on assets and lower leverage, consistent with the results documented by Hutton, Jiang, and Kumar (2014). Overall, our theory and empirical results highlight an important spillover effect of top managers'political conservatism on corporate governance choices. We further discuss other dimensions of corporate governance that could also reflect top managers' political conservatism. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Seoul Journal of Business is the property of Seoul National University, College of Business Administration and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
ISSN
1226-9816
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/168261
DOI
https://doi.org/10.35152/snusjb.2016.22.1.002
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College of Business Administration/Business School (경영대학/대학원)Dept. of Business Administration (경영학과)Seoul Journal of Business (SJB)Seoul Journal of Business Volume 22, Number 1/2 (2016)
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