Board Gender-Balancing and Firm Value

Board Gender-Balancing and Firm Value

B. Espen Eckbo, Knut Nygaard, Karin Thorburn

Series number :

Serial Number: 

Date posted :

March 01 2016

Last revised :

November 08 2019
SSRN Share


  • Gender quota • 
  • Director Independence • 
  • valuation effect • 
  • long-run performance • 
  • corporate conversion • 
  • busy directors • 
  • director network power

Prior studies of Norway's 2003 pioneering board gender-quota law conclude that it imposed statistically and economically large costs on shareholders of firms listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. We show that this dramatic conclusion does not survive simple but necessary econometric adjustments, whether applied to prior data sets or our larger data panel.

Notwithstanding substantial statistical power, our estimates fail to reject the hypothesis of a zero impact of the quota on equity values (announcement returns, long-run portfolio returns, Tobin's Q) and long-run operating profitability. Also important, we document that boards' CEO experience from large firms - the most important type of director CEO experience - did not decline. Finally, there is little evidence that the quota itself caused legal conversion. Overall, our new evidence suggests that the pool of qualified female directors was sufficiently deep to avoid significant shareholder-borne costs of the quota.


Real name:
Knut Nygaard