European Board Quality and Female Representation: The Impact of Quotas

39 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2013

See all articles by Claire E. Crutchley

Claire E. Crutchley

Auburn University

Emilia Vähämaa

Hanken School of Economics; University of Vaasa

Date Written: August 30, 2013


This paper examines the relationship between the presence of female board members and board quality across two groups of European countries between 2000 and 2011. Using simultaneous regression analysis, we find that female representation is associated with board quality and board independence. Our findings suggest that in the Nordic countries, the greater the female percentage of board members, the greater the independence on the board. Quotas decrease this positive association. In the Southern Europe, the greater the percentage of females, the lower the board independence, but voluntary gender quotas help in reducing this negative relationship. The paper provides empirical evidence that the quality of the board varies based on the gender of directors. In Nordic countries, females appear to improve board quality while the opposite is true in Southern Europe. There is also evidence that three females on the board improves board quality. This paper also reveals that voluntary and required quotas do affect board structure.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Board Composition, Business-Government relations, European Economy

JEL Classification: G34,G38

Suggested Citation

Crutchley, Claire E. and Vähämaa, Emilia, European Board Quality and Female Representation: The Impact of Quotas (August 30, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Claire E. Crutchley (Contact Author)

Auburn University ( email )

415 West Magnolia Avenue
303 Lowder Business Building
Auburn, AL 36849
United States
334-844-3002 (Phone)
334-844-4960 (Fax)

Emilia Vähämaa

Hanken School of Economics ( email )

PB 287
Helsinki, Vaasa 65101

University of Vaasa ( email )

P.O. Box 700
Wolffintie 34
FIN-65101 Vaasa

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