Do Female Executives Make a Difference? The Impact of Female Leadership on Gender Gaps and Firm Performance

42 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2014

See all articles by Luca Flabbi

Luca Flabbi

RES - Inter-American Development Bank; Georgetown University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mario Macis

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrea Moro

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Fabiano Schivardi

Luiss Guido Carli - Department of Economics and Finance; Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Abstract

We analyze a matched employer-employee panel data set and find that female leadership has a positive effect on female wages at the top of the distribution, and a negative one at the bottom. Moreover, performance in firms with female leadership increases with the share of female workers. This evidence is consistent with a model where female executives are better equipped at interpreting signals of productivity from female workers. This suggests substantial costs of under-representation of women at the top: for example, if women became CEOs of firms with at least 20% female employment, sales per worker would increase 6.7%.

Keywords: executives' gender, gender gap, firm performance, glass ceiling, statistical discrimination

JEL Classification: M5, M12, J7, J16

Suggested Citation

Flabbi, Luca and Macis, Mario and Moro, Andrea and Schivardi, Fabiano, Do Female Executives Make a Difference? The Impact of Female Leadership on Gender Gaps and Firm Performance. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8602, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520777 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2520777

Luca Flabbi (Contact Author)

RES - Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave., NW
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Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
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HOME PAGE: http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/lf74/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Mario Macis

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Andrea Moro

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

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Fabiano Schivardi

Luiss Guido Carli - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Viale Romania 32
Rome, Rome 00187
Italy

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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