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Two Essays on Corporate Policy and Corporate Governance Open Access

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Employee Ownership and Corporate GovernanceI find that firms that actively promote employee ownership through profit sharing and equity ownership plans pay their executives less and adopt more provisions favorable to shareholders. Furthermore, my empirical evidence shows that the shareholders in firms with higher employee ownership tend to be more active in corporate governance through the execution of proxy voting. The corporate boards in firms with higher employee ownership are younger, more diverse, and more representative of employees. My findings suggest that in the shareholder-manager conflict, employee ownership tends to shift power in the direction of shareholders and could significantly mitigate existing agency problems in the firm. Leadership and Corporate Culture: Evidence from Executive Migrations across FirmsThis paper examines the importance of leadership for corporate culture by studying changes in firm environmental policy around executive successions. I find that firms improve significantly their environmental performance following the arrival of executives from firms with strong pro-environmental culture and firms tend to decrease their environmental standards following the arrival of executives with poor environmental record. However, the economic impact is much weaker for an executive with poor environmental record. The findings provide insight into the formation of organizational culture and the diffusion of cultural norms in the economy.

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