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Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Marcus Noland

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Tyler Moran

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Barbara Kotschwar

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Abstract

Analysis of a global survey of 21,980 firms from 91 countries suggests that the presence of women in corporate leadership positions may improve firm performance. This correlation could reflect either the payoff to nondiscrimination or the fact that women increase a firm's skill diversity. Women's presence in corporate leadership is positively correlated with firm characteristics such as size as well as national characteristics such as girls' math scores, the absence of discriminatory attitudes toward female executives, and the availability of paternal leave. The results find no impact of board gender quotas on firm performance, but they suggest that the payoffs of policies that facilitate women rising through the corporate ranks more broadly could be significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Noland & Tyler Moran & Barbara Kotschwar, 2016. "Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey," Working Paper Series WP16-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp16-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Smith, Nina & Smith, Valdemar & Verner, Mette, 2005. "Do Women in Top Management Affect Firm Performance? A Panel Study of 2500 Danish Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 1708, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2009. "Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 291-309, November.
    3. Kenneth R. Ahern & Amy K. Dittmar, 2012. "The Changing of the Boards: The Impact on Firm Valuation of Mandated Female Board Representation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 137-197.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    5. Kevin Campbell & Antonio Mínguez-Vera, 2008. "Gender Diversity in the Boardroom and Firm Financial Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 435-451, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Marcus Noland, 2005. "Popular Attitudes, Globalization and Risk," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 199-229, August.
    8. Jurkus, Anthony F. & Park, Jung Chul & Woodard, Lorraine S., 2011. "Women in top management and agency costs," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 180-186, February.
    9. Pertold-Gebicka, Barbara & Pertold, Filip & Datta Gupta, Nabanita, 2016. "Employment Adjustments around Childbirth," IZA Discussion Papers 9685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-1177, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Breda & Alan Manning, 2016. "Diversity and Social Capital Within the Workplace: Evidence from Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp1460, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Horbach, Jens & Jacob, Jojo, 2017. "The relevance of personal characteristics and gender diversity for (eco)-innovation activities at the firm-level : Results from a linked employer-employee database in Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201711, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    3. Owen, Ann L. & Temesvary, Judit, 2017. "The performance effects of gender diversity on bank boards," MPRA Paper 80078, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Women; gender; diversity; boards of directors; CEOs;

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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