Friday, January 4, 2013

Call them old fashioned

Mariassunta Giannetti, Guanmin Liao, and Xiaoyun Yu explain their approach to research;
We explore whether directors [of public companies in China] with foreign experience lead to performance improvements using a unique dataset from China and by exploiting exogenous variation in the supply of directors with foreign experience caused by policy changes. We hand-collect information....
Right there they have our attention. Not that their theory is at all remarkable; Chinese executives with experience outside China have unique skills to offer when they return to their homeland;

We find that:
  • When individuals with foreign experience join the board of a company, the firm’s valuation improves;
  • Its total factor productivity increases; and
  • In the subsequent years, the firm’s profitability increases.
We also show that these improvements in performance are accompanied by changes in corporate policies that are generally set by the board....
Which they call a 'brain gain'.  Elementary, my dears.

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