Article | Journal of Financial Economics | December 2013

How Do Staggered Boards Affect Shareholder Value? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

by Alma Cohen and Charles C.Y. Wang

Abstract

The well-established negative correlation between staggered boards (SBs) and firm value could be due to SBs leading to lower value or a reflection of low-value firms' greater propensity to maintain SBs. We analyze the causal question using a natural experiment involving two Delaware court rulings―separated by several weeks and going in opposite directions―that affected the antitakeover force of SBs. We contribute to the long-standing debate on staggered boards by documenting empirical evidence consistent with the market viewing SBs as leading to lower firm value for the affected firms.

Keywords: Governing and Advisory Boards;

Citation:

Cohen, Alma, and Charles C.Y. Wang. "How Do Staggered Boards Affect Shareholder Value? Evidence from a Natural Experiment." Journal of Financial Economics 110, no. 3 (December 2013): 627–641.