Article | Journal of Accounting & Economics | 2013

Boardroom Centrality and Firm Performance

by David F. Larcker, Eric C. So and Charles C.Y. Wang

Abstract

Firms with central or well-connected boards of directors earn superior risk-adjusted stock returns. Initiating a long position in the most central firms and a short position in the least central firms earns an average risk-adjusted return of 4.68% per year. Firms with central boards also experience higher future growth in return-on-assets (ROA) with analysts failing to fully reflect this information in their earnings forecasts. Return prediction, growth in ROA, and analyst forecast errors are concentrated among firms with high growth opportunities or firms confronting adverse circumstances, consistent with boardroom connections mattering most for firms that stand to benefit most from the information communicated and resources exchanged through the network of board members. Overall, our results suggest that board of director networks provide economic benefits that are not immediately reflected in stock prices.

Keywords: Networks; Governing and Advisory Boards; Forecasting and Prediction; Performance;

Citation:

Larcker, David F., Eric C. So, and Charles C.Y. Wang. "Boardroom Centrality and Firm Performance." Journal of Accounting & Economics 55, nos. 2-3 (April–May 2013): 225–250.