The Structure of Board Committees
Despite the central role of boards in corporate governance, there has been relatively little understanding of their internal organization, specifically the structure of board committees. Using a dataset of over 6,000 firms, the authors find that committee activity, especially the number of committees, has been stable over time. Most of the familiar non-required board committees are rarely used. The majority of directors sit on multiple committees. The benefits and costs of a committee depend on its type. Overall, committees need to be more integrated into our understanding of corporate governance.