Who Do You Vote For? Same-Race Voting Preferences in Director Elections
74 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2023 Last revised: 17 Sep 2023
Date Written: January 1, 2023
This paper examines racial preferences of shareholders in the context of corporate director elections. We document a higher propensity of mutual fund managers to vote for director nominees who match their racial or ethnic identity. This same-race preferential voting pattern is more prevalent in elections involving nominees receiving negative recommendations from the dominant proxy advisor ISS. We investigate various potential channels –statistical discrimination, value maximization, conflicts of interest, social networks, and taste-based biases– using high-dimensional fixed effect models along with heterogeneity tests. Additional evidence indicates that same-race preferential voting has important consequences for director candidates' election and career outcomes.
Keywords: shareholder voting, racial preference, racial discrimination, mutual fund, director election
JEL Classification: G23, G41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation