The Relation between Corporate Governance and Credit Risk, Bond Yields and Firm Valuation
Links to Fileshttp://ssrn.com/abstract=1078463
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Type of Work71 pages
Citation of Original PublicationBradley, Michael and Chen, Dong and Dallas, George S. and Snyderwine, Elizabeth, The Relation between Corporate Governance and Credit Risk, Bond Yields and Firm Valuation (December 24, 2007).
This study examines the empirical relations between the governance structure of public corporations in the United States and the rating and pricing of their debt securities. We study an unbalanced panel of 775 unique U.S. firms from 2001 through 2007 and identify several statistically significant relations between corporate governance factors and credit ratings, bond spreads and firm values. We find that credit ratings are negatively related to the presence of antitakeover measures for firms with speculative grade ratings and positively related to the presence of antitakeover measures for firms with investment grade ratings. Moreover, we find that spreads are positively related to the presence of antitakeover measures, and this relation is significantly stronger for firms with less than investment grade credit ratings. Our findings also suggest that more stable boards, defined as having attributes relating to board tenure, director liability indemnification and classified board structures are related to higher credit ratings and lower bond spreads. We conjecture that boards with greater stability may be better positioned to take into consideration the longer term interests of the firm as a whole, thus benefiting the firm's creditors.