Directors: Older and Wiser, or Too Old to Govern?

Directors: Older and Wiser, or Too Old to Govern?

Ronald Masulis, Cong Wang, Fei Xie, Shuran Zhang

Series number :

Serial Number: 

Date posted :

November 21 2018

Last revised :

September 10 2023
SSRN Share


  • boardroom aging • 
  • older directors • 
  • Board monitoring • 
  • board advising • 
  • agency problems

An unintended consequence of recent governance reforms in the U.S. is firms’ greater reliance on older director candidates, resulting in noticeable board aging. We investigate this phenomenon’s implications for corporate governance.

We document that older independent directors exhibit poorer board meeting attendance, are less likely to serve on or chair key board committees and receive less shareholder support in annual elections. These directors are associated with weaker board oversight in acquisitions, CEO turnovers, executive compensation, and financial reporting. However, they can also provide particularly valuable advice when they have specialized experience or when firms have greater advisory needs.



Published in

Published in: 
The Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis Forthcoming


Real name:
Cong Wang
Real name:
Research Member
University of Delaware, Lerner College of Business and Economics
Real name:
Shuran Zhang