« Back to Results
Marriott Marquis, Rancho Santa Fe 2
American Economic Association
Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)
- Chair: Natalya Volchkova, New Economic School
Gender diversity in corporate boards: Evidence from quota-implied discontinuities
AbstractWe use data across European corporate boards to investigate the effects of quota-induced female representation, under minimal possible identification assumptions. We find that having more women in board causally increases Tobin's Q, despite some negative effects on operating performance and more likely employment downsizings. We interpret this evidence as firms scaling down inefficient operations. Our results highlight that gender quotas are not necessarily a costly way of promoting equality.
Gender and Political Coalitions
AbstractWomen are generally under-represented in top positions in the labor market, and it is largely documented that the gender gap in professional careers widens as the seniority of the position increases. In this paper we study one potential explanation for the ``leaky pipeline'', namely gender differences in success at forming coalitions in male-dominated environments. We use data from municipal elections in Spain, where municipal councils choose the mayor among list-leaders by majority rule, after a general election to select the council members. We study gender-mixed close elections between 1999 and 2015 and show that female leaders that gain the plurality of votes in the general election are significantly less likely to lead a government coalition than male leaders with the same electoral support. The gender difference is specific to elections where no party wins a seat advantage, is not accounted for by differences in party affiliation or political experience, and is larger the higher the share of men involved in the bargaining. Our findings might be relevant in contexts where a group elects its head (e.g. government assemblies or corporate boards). More generally, since group support and alliances are arguably crucial to lead a hierarchical organization, our findings indicate that lower success in securing group support and alliances is a potential contributor to women's scarcity in top positions.
Do Gender Preference Gaps Impact Policy Outcomes?
AbstractMany studies document gender differences in a variety of important economic characteristics, such as risk-taking, competition, pro-sociality and overconfidence. One potential implication is that increased female representation in decision-making bodies may significantly alter organizational and policy outcomes. However, research has yet to establish a direct connection from gender differences in simple economic choice tasks to voting over policy and the resulting outcomes. We test for such a connection in small laboratory “societies,” where people repeatedly vote for redistribution policies and engage in production. We find that women persistently vote for more egalitarian redistribution. This gender difference is large relative to voting differences based on other observable characteristics, is partly explained by gender gaps in preferences and beliefs and persists with experience and in environments with varying degrees of risk. We also observe policy differences between male- and female-controlled groups, though these are considerably smaller than the mean individual differences—a natural consequence of the aggregation of individual preferences into collective outcomes. Thus, we provide evidence for why substantial and robust gender differences in preferences may often fail to translate into large differences in policy outcomes under increased female representation.
Harvard Business School
Vrije University Amsterdam
University of Gothenburg
University of Mannheim
- J1 - Demographic Economics
- C9 - Design of Experiments