Softer lips tell sweeter lies – Trust rhetoric and CEO gender
49 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2019 Last revised: 27 Nov 2020
Date Written: November 25, 2020
This study investigates the perceived and actual trustworthiness and truthfulness of female managers when using rhetoric to advertise their trustworthiness in public disclosure documents. We find that the stock market reacts more favorably to trust rhetoric if the document has been prepared under the responsibility of a female CEO rather than a male CEO. We rule out that this result could be driven by female and male CEOs talking about trust in different contexts. However, inconsistently with the notion that the trust rhetoric of women managers is more truthful than that of their male counterparts, trust rhetoric does not relate to less extensive earnings manipulation if such rhetoric stems from female CEOs compared to male CEOs. Moreover, the trust rhetoric of female CEOs is not justified by a subsequent superior one-year stock performance. Our results contradict the popular notion that higher female trustworthiness or truthfulness explains gender differences in accounting behavior.
Keywords: Trust; Female CEOs; Textual Analysis; Stock Market Reactions; Earnings Management
JEL Classification: D53, D91, G14, G41, G30, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation