Freedom of choice between unitary and two-tier boards: An empirical analysis

François Belot, Edith Ginglinger, Myron B. Slovin, Marie Sushka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We examine board structure in France, which since 1966 has allowed firms the freedom to choose between unitary and two-tier boards. We analyze how this choice relates to characteristics of the firm and its environment. Firms with severe asymmetric information tend to opt for unitary boards; firms with a potential for private benefits extraction tend to adopt two-tier boards. Chief executive officer turnover is more sensitive to performance at firms with two-tier boards, indicating greater monitoring. Our results are broadly consistent with the Adams and Ferreira (2007) model and suggest that gains result from allowing freedom of contract about board structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-385
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Board of directors
  • Corporate governance
  • Monitoring
  • Two-tier board
  • Unitary board

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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