Market Reactions to Gendered Speech Patterns: Uptalk, Earnings Calls, and the #MeToo Movement

57 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2023 Last revised: 5 Dec 2023

See all articles by Anantha Divakaruni

Anantha Divakaruni

University of Bergen

Laura Fritsch

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Howard Jones

University of Oxford, Saïd Business School

Alan D. Morrison

University of Oxford - Said Business School; University of Oxford - Merton College

Date Written: November 7, 2023

Abstract

Information is revealed by how people speak, as well as by what they say. Using audio recordings, we study uptalk (rising intonation) by executives in earnings calls. Unexpected uptalk by female, but not male, executives predicts lower earnings. Analysts respond to female uptalk with lower recommendations and earnings forecasts, and bid-ask spreads widen when female executives speak and use uptalk. These results are consistent with sociolinguistic studies which find that uptalk is a female-typed characteristic that signals uncertainty. #MeToo did not alter the market response to female uptalk, but it engendered a favorable response to male uptalk.

Keywords: Gender, uptalk, earnings, stereotyping, social movements

JEL Classification: D91, J16, G17, G41

Suggested Citation

Divakaruni, Anantha and Fritsch, Laura and Jones, Howard and Morrison, Alan, Market Reactions to Gendered Speech Patterns: Uptalk, Earnings Calls, and the #MeToo Movement (November 7, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4501479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4501479

Anantha Divakaruni (Contact Author)

University of Bergen ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
Norway

Laura Fritsch

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Howard Jones

University of Oxford, Saïd Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

HOME PAGE: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/about-us/people/howard-jones

Alan Morrison

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Department of Finance
Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HP
United Kingdom
+44 18 6527 6343 (Phone)
+44 18 6527 6310 (Fax)

University of Oxford - Merton College

Merton Street
Oxford OX1 4JD
United Kingdom
+44 18 6527 6343 (Phone)

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