Board gender-balancing, network information, and insider trading

71 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2019 Last revised: 24 Nov 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: November 12, 2021


Following Norway's forced board gender-balancing (12/2007), which more than doubled the network of female directors, the short-term market reaction to the population of primary female insider purchases has become significantly positive. However, accounting for insiders' actual holding periods, this positive network-driven information effect does not map into positive abnormal insider trading performance. During the financial crisis period (10/2008 - 12/2010), both male and female insiders of the by then gender-balanced boards significantly increased their stock purchases. This increase, which we show does not reflect inside information, suggests that female directors are not more risk averse than their male counterparts.

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, network information, and insider trading (November 12, 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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