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Lucian A. Bebchuk & Alma Cohen, The Costs of Entrenched Boards, 78 J. Fin. Econ. 409 (2005).

Abstract: This paper investigates empirically how the value of publicly traded firms is affected by arrangements that protect management from removal. Staggered boards, which a majority of U.S. public companies have, substantially insulate boards from removal in either a hostile takeover or a proxy contest. We find that staggered boards are associated with an economically meaningful reduction in firm value (as measured by Tobin's Q). We also provide suggestive evidence that staggered boards bring about, and not merely reflect, an economically significant reduction in firm value. Finally, the correlation with reduced firm value is stronger for staggered boards that are established in the corporate charter (which shareholders cannot amend) than for staggered boards established in the company's bylaws (which shareholders can amend).