Ownership Structure, Managerial Behavior and Corporate Value

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Journal of Corporate Finance 11 (2005) 645 – 660 www.elsevier.com/locate/econbase

Ownership structure, managerial behavior and corporate value J.R. Daviesa, David Hillierb,T, Patrick McColganc

University of Strathclyde, UK b University of Leeds, UK c University of Aberdeen, UK

Received 21 November 2002; accepted 6 July 2004 Available online 20 April 2005

Abstract The nonlinear relationship between corporate value and managerial ownership is well documented. This has been attributed to the onset of managerial entrenchment, which results in a decrease of corporate value for increasing levels of managerial holdings. We propose a new structure for this relationship that accounts for the effect of conflicting managerial incentives, and external and internal disciplinary monitoring mechanisms. Using this specification as the basis for our analysis, we provide evidence that the managerial ownership–corporate value relationship is co-deterministic. This finding is at odds with recent work which reports that corporate value determines managerial ownership but not vice-versa. D 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. JEL classification: G32 Keywords: Ownership structure; Capital expenditure; Corporate value; Tobin’s Q

1. Introduction In a market without agency problems, corporate managers will choose investments that maximise the wealth of shareholders. In practice, competing objectives which are incompatible with the shareholder wealth-maximising paradigm may also be pursued. T Corresponding author. Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Maurice Keyworth Building Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. Tel.: +44 113 3434359; fax: +44 113 3434459. E-mail address: d.j.hillier@Leeds.ac.uk (D. Hillier). 0929-1199/$ - see front matter D 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2004.07.001


J.R. Davies et al. / Journal of Corporate Finance 11 (2005) 645–660

Following Jensen and Meckling (1976), a large literature has developed that examines how managerial behavior impacts upon firm performance. A vibrant strand of this literature concerns the relationship between managerial ownership levels, the direct investment decisions made by management and the inherent value of the firm, as proxied by Tobin’s Q ratio. Morck et al. (1988), McConnell and Servaes (1990), and Hermalin and Weisbach (1991) provide evidence of a significant nonlinear relationship between corporate value and managerial ownership. Specifically, value increases with managerial holdings for low levels of ownership. At some level, managers become entrenched within the firm resulting in a decrease in firm value. However, whereas Morck et al. (1988) and Hermalin and Weisbach (1991) document further changes in the corporate value–managerial holdings relationship at high levels of equity ownership, McConnell and Servaes (1990) report no such change. Recent work has built upon the findings of Demsetz and Lehn (1985) who argue that levels of managerial ownership will be determined endogenously in equilibrium. Moreover, Cho (1998) and Himmelberg et al. (1999) have shed doubt upon the earlier findings of Morck et al. (1988) and McConnell and Servaes (1990) by controlling for the effects of endogeneity and unobservable (to the econometrician) firm characteristics in their analysis. After controlling for the effects of endogeneity in the corporate value– managerial holdings relationship, they showed that managerial ownership had little or no effect on corporate value and investment. Short and Keasey (1999) and Faccio and Lasfer (1999) utilize a cubic specification to model the corporate value–managerial holdings relationship and both report a significant nonlinear functional form, similar to Morck et al. (1988), for British companies. However, neither study fully examines the misspecifying impact of endogeneity on their results. In this paper, we propose a new structure to the managerial ownership–corporate value relationship which...
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