Measuring and Calibrating the Racial/Ethnic Densities of Executives in US Public Companies

51 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2021 Last revised: 12 Aug 2021

See all articles by Jeremiah Green

Jeremiah Green

Texas A&M University - Department of Accounting

John R. M. Hand

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

Date Written: August 11, 2021

Abstract

We measure and calibrate the racial and ethnic densities (RAEDs) of executives in US public companies. We find that calibrating executive RAEDs against an economic benchmark that captures the historical demand for and supply of top BA/BS qualified proto-executive talent yields different inferences about executive racial/ethnic under- and overrepresentation 58% of the time as compared to calibrating against the US population. For example, Blacks and Hispanics are overrepresented and Whites underrepresented in S&P 500® executives when calibrated against the historical RAEDS of top BA/BS qualified proto-executive talent matched to executive age. We also find that the magnitudes of the underrepresentations for Blacks and Hispanics and the overrepresentation for Whites are 10X+ smaller using our economic benchmark. This suggests that 90+% of the underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic executives comes from factors that are in play before companies hire their proto-executive talent versus 10% or less coming from actions that companies take at or after they hire their proto-executive talent.

Keywords: Executives, race, ethnicity, representation, density, calibratio

JEL Classification: A13, J01, J15, J29, M12

Suggested Citation

Green, Jeremiah and Hand, John R. M., Measuring and Calibrating the Racial/Ethnic Densities of Executives in US Public Companies (August 11, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3797715 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3797715

Jeremiah Green

Texas A&M University - Department of Accounting ( email )

430 Wehner
College Station, TX 77843-4353
United States

John R. M. Hand (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States
919-962-3173 (Phone)
919-962-4727 (Fax)

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