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A Female Style in Corporate Leadership? Evidence from Quotas


  • David A. Matsa
  • Amalia R. Miller


This paper studies the impact of gender quotas for corporate board seats on corporate decisions. We examine the introduction of Norway's 2006 quota, comparing affected firms to other Nordic companies, public and private, that are unaffected by the rule. We find that affected firms undertake fewer workforce reductions than comparison firms, increasing relative labor costs and employment levels and reducing short-term profits. The effects are strongest among firms without female board members beforehand and are present even for boards with older and more experienced members afterward. The boards appear to be affecting corporate strategy in part by selecting like-minded executives.

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  • David A. Matsa & Amalia R. Miller, 2013. "A Female Style in Corporate Leadership? Evidence from Quotas," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 136-169, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:5:y:2013:i:3:p:136-69 Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.5.3.136

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions


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