Female directors and the firm’s cost of debt: Evidence from a quasi-natural Experiment

Whereas in 2001 women held around 5% of board seats in Norway, in 2007 their representation increased to more than 40%. This extraordinary change was the result of a board-gender quota regulation enacted in 2006. This study leverages this unique research setting and implements difference-in-differences estimations to investigate whether the appointment of female directors affects the firm’s cost of debt. The treated group in the empirical analysis consists of Norwegian public companies affected by the new regulation, while the control group includes similar firms from neighboring Scandinavian countries that were not affected by any gender quota. If, as most previous related studies conclude, female directors contribute to reduce the cost of debt, such an effect should necessarily be observed in our research setting. However, the results of the empirical analysis show no significant differences in the cost of debt before and after the appointment of a large number of female directors. This result appears robust as it holds across several sensitivity analyses.

 This paper is published in European Management Journal.                                                    

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Female directors and the firm’s cost of debt: Evidence from a quasi-natural Experiment  

Authors: Josep Garcia-Blandon, Josep Maria Argilés-Bosch, Diego Ravenda

Diego Ravenda, professeur associé, Dr
Josep Garcia-Blandon, IQS School of Management,Universitat Ramon Llull
Josep Maria Argilés-Bosch, Universitat de Barcelona

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