Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact corporate governance, measured by a governance index, on the performance of listed firms in a developing economy, Ghana. It also evaluates the effect of the introduction of a code of corporate governance on compliance rates across Ghanaian firms as well as assessing the impact of the code’s introduction on firm performance for the study period 2000-2009. Design/methodology/approach The paper develops a Ghanaian corporate governance index (GCGI) containing 33 provisions to measure corporate governance quality during the pre-code and the post-code sub-periods. The authors use a panel data analytical framework and fixed effects regressions to analyse the governance-performance relationships. Findings After controlling for endogeneity, the authors find a statistically significant and positive relationship between the GCGI and firm performance. The analysis shows evidence of a statistically significant increase in the degree of compliance with the Ghanaian Code from the pre-2003 sub-period to the post-2003 sub-period. The authors also find that the introduction of the code has led to improved firm performance. However, not all elements of corporate governance appear to have a significant effect on firm performance. Research limitations/implications One limitation of this study is the development of a corporate governance index. The binary coding used to construct the GCGI may not reflect the relative importance of the different corporate governance provisions. This means that all elements included in the index are given equal weighting. Future research may assign weights to each of the corporate governance provisions but this may have the disadvantage of making subjective judgements relative to the importance of each corporate governance provision recommended by the Ghanaian Code. Practical implications These results have important implications for both policy makers and companies. For policy makers, it is encouraging for the development of a code of corporate governance to regulate firms rather than enforcing rigid laws that may not be value relevant. For companies, the improvement in compliance with a code of corporate governance can provide a means of achieving improved performance. Originality/value This paper adds to the limited evidence on the governance-performance relationship in developing economies and in particular it analyses the role of a governance index. It is also the first paper to compare the pre- and the post-code governance index-performance relationship in an African or developing country.
- Corporate governance
- Firm performance
- Governance index
ASJC Scopus subject areas
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- Research Centre for Financial & Corporate Integrity - Associate
- School of Economics, Finance and Accounting - Assistant Professor Academic
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