Do co-opted boards increase insider profitability?

Publication Name

Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics


Using a sample of U.S. firms over the period 1996–2014, this paper examines whether insider trading profitability increases with high board co-option. Indeed, we find that firms with a higher level of co-opted directors exhibit higher insider trading profitability, largely due to a lower level of managerial ability and analyst coverage. Co-opted boards are also unlikely to implement self-imposed insider trading restrictions, exacerbating this relationship. This positive association is mitigated by a higher level of external monitoring by institutional investors and if the CEO receives more performance-based incentives. Overall, co-opted directors demonstrate aligned interests with CEOs and corporate insiders rather than performing their role as monitors. As a result, a more co-opted board is positively associated with exploitative behaviour of insiders.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access





Article Number


Funding Sponsor

Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand



Link to publisher version (DOI)