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Alma Cohen & Charles C.Y. Yang, How Do Staggered Boards Affect Shareholder Value? Evidence from a Natural Experiment, 110 J. Fin. Econ. 627 (2013).

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 presenting empirical evidence consistent with the market viewing SBs as leading to lower firm value for the affected firms.