CEO Gender, Corporate Risk-Taking, and the Efficiency of Capital Allocation
51 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2012 Last revised: 16 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 12, 2016
We extend the literature on how managerial traits relate to corporate choices by documenting that firms run by female CEOs have lower leverage, less volatile earnings, and a higher chance of survival than otherwise similar firms run by male CEOs. Additionally, transitions from male to female CEOs (or vice-versa) are associated with economically and statistically significant reductions (increases) in corporate risk-taking. The results are robust to controlling for the endogenous matching between firms and CEOs using a variety of econometric techniques. We further document that this risk-avoidance behavior appears to lead to distortions in the capital allocation process. These results potentially have important macroeconomic implications for long-term economic growth.
Keywords: CEO, gender, risk-taking
JEL Classification: G31, G32, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation