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Do Female Executives Make a Difference? The Impact of Female Leadership on Gender Gaps and Firm Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Luca Flabbi

    () (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Mario Macis

    () (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Andrea Moro

    () (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia)

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    () (Bocconi University)

Abstract

We analyze a matched employer-employee panel data set and find that female leadership has a positive effect on female wages at the top of the distribution, and a negative one at the bottom. Moreover, performance in firms with female leadership increases with the share of female workers. This evidence is consistent with a model where female executives are better equipped at interpreting signals of productivity from female workers. This suggests substantial costs of under-representation of women at the top: for example, if women became CEOs of firms with at least 20% female employment, sales per worker would increase 6.7%.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Flabbi & Mario Macis & Andrea Moro & Fabiano Schivardi, 2015. "Do Female Executives Make a Difference? The Impact of Female Leadership on Gender Gaps and Firm Performance," Working Papers CELEG 1507, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  • Handle: RePEc:lui:celegw:1507
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chiara Pronzato & Paola Profeta & Valeria Ferraro & Giulia Ferrari, 2016. "Gender Quotas: Challenging the Boards, Performance, and the Stock Market," Working Papers id:11411, eSocialSciences.
    2. Frimmel, Wolfgang & Horvath, Thomas & Schnalzenberger, Mario & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2015. "Seniority Wages and the Role of Firms in Retirement," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113163, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Mario Macis, 2017. "Gender differences in wages and leadership," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 323-323, January.
    4. Kunze, Astrid & Miller, Amalia, 2014. "Women Helping Women? Evidence from Private Sector Data on Workplace Hierarchies," IZA Discussion Papers 8725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Sandra Cavaco & Patricia Crifo & Antoine Rebérioux & Gwenaël Roudaut, 2014. "Independent directors: less informed, but better selected? New evidence from a two-way director-firm fixed effect model," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-58, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    6. Khalid Sekkat & Ariane Szafarz & Ilan Tojerow, 2015. "Women at the Top in Developing Countries: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Working Papers CEB 15-048, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Flabbi, Luca & Macis, Mario & Moro, Andrea & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2014. "Do Female Executives Make a Difference? The Impact of Female Leadership on Gender Gaps and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 8602, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Devicienti, Francesco & Fanfani, Bernardo & Maida, Agata, 2016. "Collective Bargaining and the Evolution of Wage Inequality in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 10293, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Mario Bossler & Alexander Mosthaf & Thorsten Schank, 2016. "More Female Manager Hires through More Female Managers? Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 1618, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    10. repec:bla:jorssa:v:180:y:2017:i:3:p:793-816 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Alexander Ahammer & G. Thomas Horvath & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2017. "The effect of income on mortality—new evidence for the absence of a causal link," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 180(3), pages 793-816, June.
    12. Lucifora, Claudio & Vigani, Daria, 2016. "What If Your Boss Is a Woman? Work Organization, Work-Life Balance and Gender Discrimination at the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 9737, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Theune, Katja & Behr, Andreas, 2016. "Female firm leadership. Extent and performance in 14 EU member states," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145798, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Ferrari, Giulia & Ferraro, Valeria & Profeta, Paola & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2018. "Do Board Gender Quotas Matter? Selection, Performance and Stock Market Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 11462, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Morikawa, Masayuki, 2016. "What types of companies have female directors? Evidence from Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37, pages 1-7.
    16. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2014. "The Effect of Female Leadership on Establishment and Employee Outcomes: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 8647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Giulia La Mattina & Gabriel Picone & Alban Ahoure & Jose Carlos Kimou, 2017. "Female leaders and gender gaps within the firm: Evidence from three sub-Saharan African countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 063, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Lone Engbo Christiansen & Huidan Huidan Lin & Joana Pereira & Petia Topalova & Rima Turk, 2016. "Gender Diversity in Senior Positions and Firm Performance; Evidence from Europe," IMF Working Papers 16/50, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Jaspersen, Stefan & Limbach, Peter, 2017. "Knowing Me, Knowing You? Similarity to the CEO and Fund Managers’ Investment Decisions," CFR Working Papers 17-02, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    20. International Monetary Fund, 2016. "Italy; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 16/223, International Monetary Fund.
    21. Devicienti, Francesco & Grinza, Elena & Manello, Alessandro & Vannoni, Davide, 2016. "Which Are the Benefits of Having More Female Leaders? Evidence from the Use of Part-Time Work in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 10314, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    executives’ gender; gender gap; firm performance; glass ceiling; statistical discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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