This paper shows 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 paper highlights the impact of limited director attention on the effectiveness of corporate governance and the importance of directors in keeping management active.

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Keywords director attention, firm value, busy board, corporate governance
JEL Financial Economics (jel G02), Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance (jel G34)
Persistent URL,
Journal Financial Management
Verwijmeren, P, & Wang, R. (2018). Director attention and firm value. Financial Management, accepted. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2990292