JED, Vol. 21, No.1, 2019, pp. 30-41 | https://doi.org/10.1108/JED-06-2019-0008
Independent directors and corporate investment: evidence from an emerging market
The purpose of this paper is to examine whether independent directors reduce corporate overinvestment and improve investment efficiency in an emerging market.
First, the author developed a research model in which corporate investment is a function of Tobin’s Q, the proportion of independent directors in the board and an interaction between them. Second, the author divided the full sample into groups of firms with a low- and high-financial constraint to compare the effects of independent directors between financially unconstrained and constrained firms.
With a full sample of 1,281 observations collected from 193 firms listed in Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange during the period from 2009 to 2017, the author find that the proportion of independent directors is negatively related to firm investment but its interactive term with Tobin’s Q is positively related to corporate investment. These findings imply that independent directors can help firms reduce overinvestment and improve investment efficiency. Moreover, the research findings indicate that these effects of independent directors are stronger for financially constrained firms.
The extant literature shows that independent directors are an effective mechanism to reduce agency problems in firm decisions and operating performance. However, there has been no research on the role of independent directors in corporate investment policy.
Keywords:Vietnam, Emerging market, Independent directors, Corporate investment