Deregulation and the adaptation of governance structure: the case of the U.S. airline industry

Deregulation and the adaptation of governance structure: the case of the U.S. airline industry Deregulation provides a natural experiment for examining how governance adapts to structural changes in the business environment. We investigate the evolution of governance structure, characterized by ownership concentration, compensation policy, and board composition, in the U.S. airline industry during a 22-year period surrounding the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Consistent with theory, we find that after deregulation (i) equity ownership is more concentrated, (ii) CEO pay increases, (iii) stock option grants to CEOs increase, and (iv) board size decreases. Airlines’ governance structures gravitate toward the system of governance mechanisms used by unregulated firms. The adaptation process is gradual, however, suggesting that it is costly to alter organizational capital. We also present evidence on the relation between governance structure and firm survival. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Financial Economics Elsevier

Deregulation and the adaptation of governance structure: the case of the U.S. airline industry

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Abstract

Deregulation provides a natural experiment for examining how governance adapts to structural changes in the business environment. We investigate the evolution of governance structure, characterized by ownership concentration, compensation policy, and board composition, in the U.S. airline industry during a 22-year period surrounding the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Consistent with theory, we find that after deregulation (i) equity ownership is more concentrated, (ii) CEO pay increases, (iii) stock option grants to CEOs increase, and (iv) board size decreases. Airlines’ governance structures gravitate toward the system of governance mechanisms used by unregulated firms. The adaptation process is gradual, however, suggesting that it is costly to alter organizational capital. We also present evidence on the relation between governance structure and firm survival.

Journal

Journal of Financial EconomicsElsevier

Published: Apr 1, 1999

References

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