Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Management

Program Name/Specialization

Accounting

Faculty/School

School of Business and Economics

First Advisor

Bruce McConomy

Advisor Role

Dissertation Committee (co-chair)

Second Advisor

Flora Niu

Advisor Role

Dissertation Committee (co-chair)

Third Advisor

Darren Henderson

Advisor Role

Dissertation Committee

Abstract

In this dissertation three essays on corporate governance and politically connected firms are presented. The first essay “Interlocked Boards of Directors, Corporate Governance and Earnings Quality” studies the effects of interlocked boards of directors on voluntary governance disclosures, governance practices and earnings quality. The Canadian environment, where director interlocks are prevalent, is examined. A checklist of twenty voluntary disclosure measures from proxy statements is developed and a direct measure of interlocking directorships is employed. It is found that interlocked boards of directors are negatively associated with voluntary governance disclosures and positively associated with earnings quality. From an accounting perspective, greater earnings quality provides evidence that regulator rules and policies limiting interlocks may be unnecessary.

Research has shown that firms can benefit when they are politically connected. The extant literature has shown that politically connected firms benefit from procurement contracts, reduced regulatory issues and lower costs of capital. However, with more politicians joining corporate boards, the effect of political connectedness on corporate governance remains unclear. The second essay is entitled “Politically Connected Directors and Corporate Governance”, and it examines the association between politically connected directors and corporate governance. A sample of high ranking politicians that have joined firm boards of directors is examined. I find that firms with politician directors have higher corporate governance scores. Additional tests also indicate that an addition of a politician to a board of directors increases the governance quality.

The extant literature has also demonstrated that both political connections and cross-listing can benefit firms in various aspects, such as superior stock returns and a lower cost of capital. The third paper, entitled “The Value of Political Connections for Cross-Listed Firms”, examines whether cross-listed firms can obtain incremental financial benefits by also being politically connected. 142 Canadian cross-listed firms are examined to determine the extent of their political connections and to assess whether any incremental benefits are gained in politically connected cross-listed firms. The results show that politically connected cross-listed firms have higher analyst following, higher market valuations and greater market liquidity.

Convocation Year

2017

Convocation Season

Fall

Included in

Accounting Commons

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