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Beyond the glass ceiling: Does gender matter?

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  • Renée Adams
  • Patricia Funk

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Abstract

The representation of women in top corporate officer positions is steadily increasing. However, little is known about the impact this will have. A large literature documents that women are different from men in their choices and in their preferences, but most of this literature relies on samples of college students or workers at lower levels in the corporate hierarchy. If women must be like men to break the glass ceiling, we might expect gender differences to disappear among top executives. In contrast, using a large survey of all directors of publicly-traded corporations in Sweden, we show that female and male directors differ systematically in their core values and risk attitudes. While certain population gender differences disappear at the director level, others do not. Consistent with the findings for the Swedish population, female directors are more benevolent and universally concerned, but less power-oriented than men. However, they are less traditional and security-oriented than their male counterparts. Furthermore, female directors are slightly more risk-loving than male directors. This suggests that having a women on the board need not lead to more risk-averse decision-making.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1172.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1172

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Female directors; directors; gender; boards; values; risk;

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References

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  1. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2008. "How Costly is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 13923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
  4. Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  6. Dollar, David & Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2001. "Are women really the "fairer" sex? Corruption and women in government," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 423-429, December.
  7. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  8. Adams, Ren辿e B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2008. "Women in the Boardroom and Their Impact on Governance and Performance," CEI Working Paper Series 2008-7, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dato, Simon & Nieken, Petra, 2014. "Gender differences in competition and sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 64-80.
  2. Geiler, P.H.M., 2012. "Essays on executive remuneration contracting: Managerial power, corporate payout, and gender discrimination," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5590842, Tilburg University.
  3. Miklós Antal & Ardjan Gazheli & Jeroen van den Bergh, 2012. "Behavioral Foundations of Sustainability Transitions," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 3, WWWforEurope.
  4. Di Giuli, Alberta & Kostovetsky, Leonard, 2014. "Are red or blue companies more likely to go green? Politics and corporate social responsibility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 158-180.
  5. Jeroen Nieboer, 2013. "Risk taking in diverse groups: Gender matters," Discussion Papers 2013-06, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  6. Berger, Allen N. & Kick, Thomas & Schaeck, Klaus, 2012. "Executive board composition and bank risk taking," Discussion Papers 03/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  7. Hogarth, Robin M. & Karelaia, Natalia & Trujillo, Carlos Andrés, 2012. "When should I quit? Gender differences in exiting competitions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 136-150.
  8. Magda Bianco & Angela Ciavarella & Rossella Signoretti, 2013. "Women on corporate boards in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 174, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. Carlo Drago & Francesco Millo & Roberto Ricciuti & Paolo Satella, 2011. "The Role of Women in the Italian Network of Boards of Directors, 2003-2010," Working Papers 10/2011, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  10. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011074 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Cindy Truong, Yan Wendy Wu, 2014. "Female Bank Executives: Impact on Performance and Risk Taking Substitutes?," LCERPA Working Papers wm0067, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis.

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