How Do Independent Directors Affect Corporate Risk-Taking?

Excessive risk-taking by corporate executives is often blamed for triggering the financial crisis of 2008. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the nature of corporate risk-taking so as to prevent, or reduce the likelihood of, a future crisis. In theory, managers, who represent shareholders, are expected to act in the best interest of the shareholders and only take risks that maximize shareholder wealth. In reality, managers may take either too little risk or too much.

First, managers may adopt corporate policies and strategies that are too conservative, because their human capital is invested in the company. A high degree of … Read more