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The Effect of Incoming Board Interlocks With Public Firms on Private Firms’ Survival: Large-Scale Evidence From India

Posted on 2023-04-26 - 10:20

How private firms can overcome their unique governance challenges remains an important but understudied topic. Using novel data on more than 28,000 private firms in India from 1988 to 2017, we examine whether private firms can improve their survival prospects by having board interlocks with public firms and, specifically, interlocks whereby a public firm director subsequently joins the private firm's board. In our data, we found a U-shaped relationship between the number of incoming board interlocks and the probability of private firm exit. We also found that board interlocks formed by public firm directors of public firms audited by Big Four companies improve private firms’ survival more than other interlocks, consistent with the notion that such interlocks improve monitoring at private firms. Overall, our study points toward the importance of considering the role of incoming board interlocks when explaining private firm survival.

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