The effects of board of directors’ education on firms’ credit ratings

Panagiota Papadimitri, Fotios Pasiouras, Menelaos Tasiou*, Alexia Ventouri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Using a data set of 1,618 firms from 39 countries, we examine the influence of the educational attainment of a firm's board of directors on its credit rating. We construct a Leadership Education Index that reflects the educational level of the key members of the board. We document, after controlling for firm and country-specific characteristics, that firms in which the key members of the board have a higher educational level are more likely to receive better credit ratings. To ensure robustness in our results, we conduct a number of analyses and tests designed to alleviate endogeneity and correct for sample bias. Our findings highlight the importance of hiring and retaining well-educated board members that are capable to manage firms and obtain better credit ratings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-313
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Corporate governance
  • Credit Ratings
  • Education
  • Leadership Index


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