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Dmitry Gavrilov 1, Tatyana Ratnikova 2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 26, Shabolovka st., Moscow, 119049, Russia
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

The Impact of Gender Diversity of the Board and Ownership Structure on Corporate Performance: Evidence from Western Europe

2014. Vol. 18. No. 3. P. 387–428 [issue contents]

Non-financial matters in the operation of an enterprise that influence decision-making process are attracting more and more attention in the contemporary research. One of the most commonly used frameworks is the theory of financial architecture. In a great set of various facets of a financial architecture, most attention is paid to the ownership structure and the composition of the Board of Directors. It has been found that the diversification of the Board (including gender diversification) provides a broader outlook on the development strategy, raises company’s reputation and investment attractiveness.

The main research objective of this paper is to analyze nonfinancial aspects of corporate economic effectiveness taking into account temporal effects and idiosyncrasies of particular companies, as well as non-observable industry-specific and geographical characteristics. The data sample is a panel of Western European companies over a period from 2007 to 2012 based on Bloomberg and Amadeus databases. The multilayer structure of the models allows to control for non-observable variables (causing a lack of uniformity among different companies, countries, industries and time periods). This produces more exact estimates of the effects caused by the factors in question – the number and share of women on the Board, the ownership share of the biggest shareholder and the total share of the three largest shareholders. The particular specification of the model along with controlling for the inhomogeneity of coefficients settles the apparent controversy between theoretical studies and preliminary empirical results. It turns out that the increase of the number (and fraction) of women on the Board of Directors leads to an increase in the effectiveness of the company only up to a certain threshold; further increase tends to decrease the effectiveness. This phenomenon has been observed in most of the specifications of the model and has been controlled for a potential endogeneity by using lagged values instead of current ones. The analysis of marginal effects of the number of women on the Board on the effectiveness of the company shows a negative dependence on the capital stock and financial leverage and a positive dependence on the research and development costs. The dependence on the size of the company has come out inconsistent: the estimates based on the OLS model show constant returns, the estimates based on the hierarchically structured model (controlling for dissimilarities between countries) show increasing returns, and the estimates accounting for the sector dissimilarities show decreasing returns.

Most of the different specifications of the model show no significant impact of the concentration of capital on the strategic effectiveness of companies.

Citation: Gavrilov D., Ratnikova T. (2014) Zhenskaya dolya: issledovanie nefinansovykh aspektov effektivnosti zapadnoevropeyskikh kompaniy [The Impact of Gender Diversity of the Board and Ownership Structure on Corporate Performance: Evidence from Western Europe]. HSE Economic Journal, vol. 18, no 3, pp. 387-428 (in Russian)
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