Sex Discrimination and Female Top Managers: Evidence from China
46 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2013 Last revised: 30 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 28, 2015
We examine whether sex discrimination contributes to the underrepresentation of female executives in large corporations. China’s strong cultural preference for sons has made newborn boys greatly outnumber newborn girls. Using the male-to-female sex ratio at birth as the proxy for discrimination against women, we find that firms headquartered in more discriminatory areas hire fewer female executives. Even conditional on a woman reaching an executive position, she faces a higher likelihood of dismissal and receives lower compensation than her male counterparts. Overall, our findings suggest that sex discrimination plays an important role in preventing women from climbing the corporate ladder.
Keywords: Sex discrimination, Female, Gender, Sex ratio, Corporate executives, Executive compensation, Turnover, China
JEL Classification: G30, J71
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