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The Anglo-American versus the Continental European corporate governance model: empirical evidence of board composition in Belgium

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Compares two corporate governance models: the Anglo-American and the Continental European model. These corporate governance models differ strongly, and the differences are mainly due to differences in the business context. The problems arising from separation of ownership from control will thus have to be solved through different mechanisms. One important mechanism is the board of directors. The board composition of 122 companies has been analyzed in a Belgian empirical study. From the tests, finds a significant positive relationship between the number of directors in the board and a range of other factors. Shareholder structure does not seem to have an effect on the size of the board. A second variable concerning the composition of the board, is the percentage of external directors. Finds that the number of external directors differs significantly between companies with a different nationality and between companies that are listed or not. Size, shareholder structure and industry were not related to the percentage of external directors in a company.

Keywords: Boards of Directors; Corporate Governance

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 30, 2002


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