Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Avedian, Cronqvist & Weidenmier on the SEC

Arevik Avedian, Henrik Cronqvist, and Marc Weidenmier have posted Corporate Governance and the Creation of the SEC on SSRN with the following abstract:

We study the effects of the creation of the SEC on corporate governance. Established in 1934, the SEC effectively applied the listing standards of the NYSE to all regional stock exchanges in the U.S. We therefore examine the impact of the SEC by comparing non-NYSE listing firms before and after the landmark legislation was adopted, using the NYSE as a control group. Our estimates reveal that there was a 30 percent reduction in board independence, i.e., the creation of the SEC caused boards to become significantly less independent. We find no corresponding effects on firm valuations. Our evidence is consistent with a "substitution of governance mechanisms" hypothesis, i.e., firms endogenously trade off market-based (board) governance and government-sponsored (SEC) governance. The evidence has implications for changes to corporate governance regulations around the world.

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