Purpose – This study examines the relationship between internal corporate governance mechanisms and firm risk-taking.
Design/methodology/approach – This research comprises a sample of 38 non-financial Portuguese listed firms on Euronext Lisbon, over the period 2007-2017. To test the formulated hypotheses we use Panel Corrected Standard Errors (PCSE) models.
Findings – Our results provide evidence that, in the Portuguese context, bigger young firms, with larger boards of directors and with a greater degree of independent directors, present higher levels of systematic risk. Our results are consistent across robustness checks.
Originality/value – To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that is reported a robust incremental effect of the board size on firm systematic risk. This result contradicts the prevailing literature and opens a new debate, from the financial markets’ points of view, on the benefits of larger boards of directors in the mitigation of market volatility.
Keywords – directors; board; volatility; stock returns; independence
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