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Session Overview
CFGE-3: Gender Equality
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
13:30 - 15:00

Session Chair: Mireia Gine, IESE Business School
Location: D -107

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Public Attention to Gender Equality and the Demand for Female Directors

Mariassunta Giannetti1, Tracy Wang2

1Stockholm School of Economics, CEPR, and ECGI; 2University of Minnesota, United States of America

Discussant: Daniel Urban (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

We show that public attention to gender equality has different effects on the implicit attitudes towards career women of individuals with different ex ante preferences and beliefs. On this basis, we conjecture that changes in public attention to gender equality have different effects on the demand for female directors of firms with different ex ante culture. We find that public attention is associated with an increase in female board representation, but only in firms whose culture is more sympathetic to gender equality. We find no evidence that the effects of public attention to gender equality are limited by the supply of eligible directors. We also find evidence that public attention to gender equality changes the way female directors are recruited. First, heightened public attention leads listed companies to reach out to a broader pool of potential female directors. There is no evidence that this increase in demand is associated with compromises on the quality of newly appointed female directors. Second, firms have higher propensity to appoint men with connections to current board members than similarly connected women. Public attention to gender equality reduces the reliance on connections in appointments, especially for male directors, leading to higher female representation on the board of listed companies.

efa2019-CFGE-3-855-Public Attention to Gender Equality and the Demand.pdf

Mind the Gap: Gender Stereotypes and Entrepreneur Financing

Camille Hebert

University of Toronto

Discussant: Cameron Peng (London School of Economics)

Using administrative data on the population of start-ups in France and their financing sources, I provide evidence consistent with the existence of stereotypes among equity investors. First, I find that female-founded start-ups are 19-27\% less likely to raise external equity including venture capital. However, in female-dominated sectors, female-founded start-ups are no longer at a disadvantage. They are equally to 8\% more likely to be backed with equity relative to male-founded start-ups in those sectors and to female-founded start-ups in male-dominated sectors. My empirical design ensures that the observed gender funding gaps are not driven by the composition of founding teams or by differences across individuals regarding human capital, ex ante motivations and optimism. Second, consistent with the idea that the bar is set higher for minorities, I find that conditionally on being backed with equity, female (male) entrepreneurs perform better in male (female)-dominated sectors relative to male (female) entrepreneurs. The evidence is consistent with a model in which investors have context-dependent stereotypes.

efa2019-CFGE-3-187-Mind the Gap.pdf

Do Firms Respond to Gender Pay Gap Transparency?

Morten Bennedsen1, Elena Simintzi2, Margarita Tsoutsoura3, Daniel Wolfenzon4

1University of Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Kenan-Flagler Business School, USA; 3Cornell University, USA; 4Columbia University, USA

Discussant: Irem Demirci (Nova School of Business and Economics)

We examine the effect of pay transparency on gender pay gap and firm outcomes. This paper exploits a 2006 legislation change in Denmark that requires firms to provide gender dis-aggregated wage statistics. Using detailed employee-employer administrative data and a difference-in-differences approach, we find that the law reduces the gender pay gap, primarily by slowing the wage growth for male employees. The gender pay gap declines by approximately two percentage points, or a 7% reduction relative to the pre-legislation mean. In addition, the wage transparency mandate causes a reduction in firm productivity and in the overall wage bill, leaving firm profitability unchanged.

efa2019-CFGE-3-1659-Do Firms Respond to Gender Pay Gap Transparency.pdf

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