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CEO gender, corporate risk-taking, and the efficiency of capital allocation

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  • Faccio, Mara
  • Marchica, Maria-Teresa
  • Mura, Roberto

Abstract

We extend the literature on how managerial traits relate to corporate choices by documenting that firms run by female CEOs have lower leverage, less volatile earnings, and a higher chance of survival than otherwise similar firms run by male CEOs. Additionally, transitions from male to female CEOs (or vice versa) are associated with economically and statistically significant reductions (increases) in corporate risk-taking. The results are robust to controlling for the endogenous matching between firms and CEOs using a variety of econometric techniques. We further document that this risk-avoidance behavior appears to lead to distortions in the capital allocation process. These results potentially have important macroeconomic implications for long-term economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Faccio, Mara & Marchica, Maria-Teresa & Mura, Roberto, 2016. "CEO gender, corporate risk-taking, and the efficiency of capital allocation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 193-209.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:39:y:2016:i:c:p:193-209
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2016.02.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Simona, Comi & Mara, Grasseni & Federica, Origo & Laura, Pagani, 2017. "Where Women Make The Difference. The Effects of Corporate Board Gender Quotas on Firms’ Performance across Europe," Working Papers 367, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 12 Jul 2017.
    2. Zhong, Ma, 2014. "认知的桎梏:从稳定型财务业绩到企业过度投资 ——基于中国上市公司的证据
      [Cognitive shackles: from Consistency of financial performance to Corporate Over-investment ——Evidence-based China Listed Companies]
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    7. Amore, Mario Daniele & Garofalo, Orsola, 2016. "Executive gender, competitive pressures, and corporate performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 308-327.
    8. McGuinness, Paul B. & Vieito, João Paulo & Wang, Mingzhu, 2017. "The role of board gender and foreign ownership in the CSR performance of Chinese listed firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 75-99.
    9. Ajay Palvia & Emilia Vähämaa & Sami Vähämaa, 2015. "Are Female CEOs and Chairwomen More Conservative and Risk Averse? Evidence from the Banking Industry During the Financial Crisis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 577-594, October.
    10. Hegde, Shantaram P. & Mishra, Dev R., 2017. "Strategic risk-taking and value creation: Evidence from the market for corporate control," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 212-234.
    11. Jan Hanousek & Anastasiya Shamshur & Jiri Tresl, 2017. "Firm Efficiency, Foreign Ownership and CEO Gender in Corrupt Environments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp595, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
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    15. Chen, Jie & Leung, Woon Sau & Goergen, Marc, 2017. "The impact of board gender composition on dividend payouts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 86-105.
    16. René Böheim & Dominik Grübl & Mario Lackner, 2017. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(2), pages 13-17, August.
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    19. Joanna Tyrowicz & Jakub Mazurek, 2017. "All on board? New evidence on board gender diversity from a large panel of firms," GRAPE Working Papers 5, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    20. R. Oystein Strøm & Bert D'Espallier & Roy Mersland, 2016. "Female leaders and financial inclusion: Evidence from microfinance institutions," Working Papers CEB 16-019, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Keywords

    Risk-taking; CEO gender; Capital allocation;

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