Board Diversity and Firm Performance: Empirical Evidence from Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore

41 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2013

See all articles by Daniel Low

Daniel Low

University of Otago - Department of Accountancy and Finance

Helen Roberts

University of Otago - Department of Accountancy and Finance

Rosalind H. Whiting

University of Otago - Department of Accountancy and Finance

Date Written: December 5, 2013

Abstract

This study shows that female directors have a significant impact on financial and non-financial measures of firm performance. In a sample of Asian firms from Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, we find that board gender diversity relates positively to return on equity as well as corporate governance performance and social performance but has an inconsequential effect on environmental performance. Nonetheless, the positive effects of gender diversity appear to be diminished in countries with higher female economic participation. This may be due to tokenism and suggests that forcing female director appointment or mandating gender quotas can reduce firm performance in countries with strong cultural resistance.

Keywords: Board of directors, Gender, Diversity, Asia

JEL Classification: G30, G34, G38, J16

Suggested Citation

Low, Daniel and Roberts, Helen and Whiting, Rosalind H., Board Diversity and Firm Performance: Empirical Evidence from Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore (December 5, 2013). 2014 Financial Markets & Corporate Governance Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2364225

Daniel Low

University of Otago - Department of Accountancy and Finance ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin, 9054
New Zealand

Helen Roberts

University of Otago - Department of Accountancy and Finance ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin, 9054
New Zealand
6434798072 (Phone)
6434798171 (Fax)

Rosalind H. Whiting (Contact Author)

University of Otago - Department of Accountancy and Finance ( email )

Dunedin
New Zealand

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