Will Nasdaq's Diversity Rules Harm Investors?
15 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2021 Last revised: 9 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 31, 2021
In December 2020, Nasdaq asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve new diversity rules. The aim is for most Nasdaq-listed firms to have at least one director self-identifying as female and another self-identifying as an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+. While Nasdaq claims these rules will benefit investors, the empirical evidence provides little support for the claim that gender or ethnic diversity in the boardroom increases shareholder value. In fact, rigorous scholarship—much of it by leading female economists—suggests that increasing board diversity can actually lead to lower share prices. Adoption of Nasdaq’s proposed rules would thus generate substantial risks for investors.
Keywords: NASDAQ, SEC, corporate governance, boards, diversity
JEL Classification: G30, G34, G38, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation