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CEO gender, executive compensation and firm performance in Chinese‐listed enterprises

  • Lam, Kevin C.K.
  • McGuinness, Paul B.
  • Vieito, João Paulo

The present study extends the international body of evidence on executive compensation by offering a novel account of the interaction of CEO gender with executive remuneration and firm performance in the Chinese market place. Examination of more than 10,000 firm-year observations, spanning the period 2000–2008, points to women making up around 4.4% of all CEOs in China's listed issuers. More tellingly, female CEO participation is on the rise and is considerably more visible in firms with private control. This result is consistent with Becker's (1957) proposition that competitive forces lessen discriminatory pressures. We surmise that the Chinese authorities’ attempts to promote gender-neutral hiring policies now appear subordinate to forces unleashed by China's burgeoning private sector. Female CEOs are also more likely to emerge in firms where at least one female director is present. However, the presence of international cross-listings does not materially raise CEO compensation or the likelihood of the CEO being female. In keeping with international norms, female CEOs receive less favourable compensation terms than their male counterparts. Finally, we find only limited evidence of a CEO gender–firm performance link.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Pacific-Basin Finance Journal.

Volume (Year): 21 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1136-1159

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pacfin:v:21:y:2013:i:1:p:1136-1159
DOI: 10.1016/j.pacfin.2012.08.006
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/pacfin

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