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Corporate Governance, Affirmative Action and Firm Value in Post-apartheid South Africa: A Simultaneous Equation Approach


  • Collins G. Ntim

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    • Centre for Research in Accounting, Accountability and Governance, School of Management, University of Southampton, Building 2, University Road, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 238 059 8612, fax: +44 (0) 238 059 3844, e-mail: or e-mail: The author gratefully acknowledges the insightful and timely suggestions by the Editor, Professor John Anyanwu, and two anonymous reviewers. However, the standard caveat applies.


The post-apartheid South African corporate governance (CG) model is a unique hybridization of the traditional Anglo-American and Continental European-Asian CG models, distinctively requiring firms to explicitly comply with a number of affirmative action and stakeholder CG provisions, such as black economic empowerment, employment equity, environment, HIV/Aids, and health and safety. This paper examines the association between a composite CG index and firm value in this distinct corporate setting within a simultaneous equation framework. Using a sample of post-apartheid South African listed corporations, and controlling for potential interdependencies among block ownership, board size, leverage, institutional ownership, firm value and a broad CG index, we find a significant positive association between a composite CG index and firm value. Further, our two-stage least squares results show that there is also a reverse association between our broad CG index and firm value, emphasizing the need for future research to adequately control for potential interrelationships between possible alternative CG mechanisms and firm value. Distinct from prior studies, we find that compliance with affirmative action CG provisions impacts positively on firm value. Our results are consistent with agency, legitimacy, political cost, and resource dependent theoretical predictions. Our findings are robust across a number of econometric models that adequately control for different types of endogeneity problems, and alternative accounting, and market-based firm valuation proxies.