PhD Lunch Seminars Rotterdam

Rex Wang (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Thursday, December 8, 2016

The boards of directors are important to ensure that managers maximize shareholder value. This paper shows that director attention affects board monitoring intensity and thereby firm value and profitability. We construct a firm-level director “distraction” measure by exploiting exogenous shocks to unrelated industries in which busy directors have additional directorships. Directors attend significantly fewer board meetings when they are distracted. Firms with higher director distraction experience a significant decline in firm value and profitability. Firms with more distracted directors tend to be inactive and invest less than their industry peers. Overall, this paper highlights the role of limited director attention in corporate governance.