Board gender-balancing and insider trading performance

59 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2019 Last revised: 1 Sep 2021

See all articles by B. Espen Eckbo

B. Espen Eckbo

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Bernt Arne Ødegaard

University of Stavanger

Date Written: August 17, 2021


Using holdings-based performance measures, we test whether Norway's doubling of its female director network (through board gender-balancing) has increased female insider trading performance. We find that the gender-based insider performance has remained statistically indistinguishable from zero. However, consistent with a positive network information effect, the immediate market reaction to non-routine purchases by primary female insiders (executives and directors) has become positive and significant and of a magnitude equal to that of male insiders. Also, increased gender-based insider-trading propensities during the financial crisis suggest that female directors are no more risk averse than males.

Keywords: Board gender-balancing, director network, insider holdings, trading performance, risk aversion

JEL Classification: G14, M14

Suggested Citation

Eckbo, B. Espen and Ødegaard, Bernt Arne, Board gender-balancing and insider trading performance (August 17, 2021). Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 3475061, Proceedings of Paris December 2020 Finance Meeting EUROFIDAI - ESSEC, European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No. 783/2021, Available at SSRN: or

B. Espen Eckbo (Contact Author)

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-3953 (Phone)
603-646-3805 (Fax)


European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Bernt Arne Ødegaard

University of Stavanger ( email )

UiS Business School
Stavanger, NO-4036


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