Director attention and firm value

Rex Wang Renjie*, Patrick Verwijmeren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this article, we show that exogenous director distraction affects board monitoring intensity and leads to a higher level of inactivity by management. We construct a firm-level director “distraction” measure by exploiting shocks to unrelated industries in which directors have additional directorships. Directors attend significantly fewer board meetings when they are distracted. Firms with distracted board members tend to be inactive and experience a significant decline in firm value. Overall, this article highlights the impact of limited director attention on the effectiveness of corporate governance and the importance of directors in keeping management active.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-387
JournalFinancial Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


We thank an anonymous referee, Rajkamal Iyer (editor), Marc Gabarro, Iftekhar Hasan, Mike Qinghao Mao, David S. Thomas, Francisco Urzúa, David Yermack, and seminar participants at Erasmus Research Institute of Management, Tinbergen Institute, Research in Behavioral Finance Conference (2016), and Paris Financial Management Conference (2016) for helpful comments and suggestions.

FundersFunder number
Erasmus Research Institute of Management, Tinbergen Institute
Paris Financial Management Conference


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