Essays on Corporate Governance

University dissertation from Lund University School of Economics and Management, Department of Business Administration

Abstract: This thesis consists of four self-contained, yet related articles which all contribute mainly to the corporate governance literature. Very broadly, the first two papers are on family firms and large shareholders in Sweden while the second two are on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) practices in Nordic countries. The contribution of Paper 1 is that I for the first time take into account the two dimensions that have not been investigated in the family firm literature before mainly due to data availability. Accordingly, by exploiting unique ownership data on listed Swedish firms I overall show that 1) investment horizon of family owners and 2) diversification level of family portfolios matter for corporate investment decisions. The main contribution of Paper 2 which is written together with S. Abraham (Avri) Ravid is as follows: we look at agency cost of blockholders by for the first time taking their portfolio composition and investment horizon into account. Again by exploiting a novel data-set, we present that these two considerations change the results documented in the literature. The final two papers which are on ERM also use a unique data-set which is formed based on a risk-management survey conducted to all listed Nordic firms. Paper 3 contributes to the literature in two ways. First, I investigate determinants of ERM from a corporate governance point of view in a systematic way. Second, I develop a new sound measure for ERM process that could be further developed and used in the ERM literature. The main contribution of Paper 4 is that it provides new evidence on value-relevance of ERM by testing the hypothesis that ERM increases firm value.

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