Lehman Sisters

57 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2017 Last revised: 24 Jan 2018

See all articles by Renee B. Adams

Renee B. Adams

University of Oxford; ABFER

Vanitha Ragunathan

University of Queensland - Business School; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Date Written: January 1, 2017


Based on documented population gender differences in risk aversion, some argue the crisis would not have happened if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters. Such generalizations from the population ignore the role of selection. We illustrate the importance of selection by comparing finance to other industries. Using measure of preferences, we show that gender gaps in risk-aversion can reverse in finance. Consistent with the existence of selection, financial firms with more female directors are, if anything, relatively riskier than non-financials. While diversity may be valuable in a crisis, taking selection into account may be critical for identifying the reasons why.

Keywords: Women, Gender, Risk Aversion, Selection, Risk, Crisis, Banks, Board of Directors

JEL Classification: G34, G38, G21, G28, J16, J78

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renée B. and Ragunathan, Vanitha, Lehman Sisters (January 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3046451 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3046451

Renée B. Adams

University of Oxford ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

ABFER ( email )

BIZ 2 Storey 4, 04-05
1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592

Vanitha Ragunathan (Contact Author)

University of Queensland - Business School ( email )

Brisbane, Queensland 4072
(07) 3365 8204 (Phone)
(07) 3365 6988 (Fax)

Financial Research Network (FIRN) ( email )

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane

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