Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 4:43 pm

Board Quotas for Women

Question A: All else equal, if corporations throughout Europe set quotas for a minimum number of women board members, the shareholder value of European companies would increase.

Responses
 

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Responses weighted by each expert's confidence

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Question B: Taking into account the likely effects on investments in human capital by men and women, setting quotas throughout Europe for a minimum number of women board members would generate substantial net benefits for Europeans.

Responses
 

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Responses weighted by each expert's confidence

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Question A Participant Responses

Participant University Vote Confidence Comment Bio/Vote History
Aghion Philippe Aghion Harvard Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Allen Franklin Allen Imperial College London Uncertain 3
I am not knowledgeable about the evidence in this area. Setting quotas is a good idea in my view but not because of value increase.
Bio/Vote History
         
Antras Pol Antras Harvard Uncertain 8
The answer would surely depend on what the quota is set to! I think a quota is reasonable but empirical evidence for externalities is scant
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Besley Timothy J. Besley LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Blanchard Olivier Blanchard Peterson Institute Agree 3
Different perspectives are typically useful. Whether there is a sufficiently large pool of qualified women today is not obvious.
Bio/Vote History
         
Bloom Nicholas Bloom Stanford Disagree 5
Regulating firms behavior usually reduces profits and this is unlikely to be an exception. However, it still could be good for society.
Bio/Vote History
         
Blundell Richard William Blundell University College London Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Bénassy-Quéré Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Paris School of Economics No Opinion
I think there are already quotas in a number of countries.
Bio/Vote History
         
Carletti Elena Carletti Bocconi Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Danthine Jean-Pierre Danthine Paris School of Economics Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
De Grauwe Paul De Grauwe LSE Uncertain 2
I have no expertise in this issue
Bio/Vote History
         
Eeckhout Jan Eeckhout University College London Agree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Fehr Ernst Fehr Universität Zurich Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Freixas Xavier Freixas Universitat Pompeu Fabra Strongly Disagree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Fuchs-Schündeln Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Agree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Galí Jordi Galí Universitat Pompeu Fabra Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Garicano Luis Garicano LSE Disagree 5
Positive: breaking open old boys network, fairer promotions, visibility of mentors. Negative: choice set is more restricted
Bio/Vote History
         
Giavazzi Francesco Giavazzi Bocconi Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Griffith Rachel Griffith University of Manchester Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Guerrieri Veronica Guerrieri Chicago Booth Uncertain 6
Valuable women otherwise discriminated could become board members, but stigma could have negative effects in the longer run
Bio/Vote History
         
Guiso Luigi Guiso Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Hellwig Martin Hellwig Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Honohan Patrick Honohan Trinity College Dublin Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Kleven Henrik Kleven Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Krahnen Jan Pieter Krahnen Goethe University Frankfurt Disagree 5
Even if more women on boards meant better decisions, the effect on shareholder value in general equilibrium is likely non-positive.
Bio/Vote History
         
Krusell Per Krusell Stockholm University Agree 3
Initially the reaction may be the opposite but my belief is that over the longer run it would be a plus. No data to back it up though!
Bio/Vote History
         
Kőszegi Botond Kőszegi Central European University Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
La Ferrara Eliana La Ferrara Bocconi Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Leuz Christian Leuz Chicago Booth Uncertain 5
In short run, evidence suggests negative effects likely bc supply of qualified women is not yet large enough. Not much evidence on long-run.
-see background information here
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Meghir Costas Meghir Yale Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Neary Peter Neary Oxford Uncertain 4
I am in favour of this kind of measure in principle but do not want to claim that it would affect shareholder value for the better; no worse
Bio/Vote History
         
O'Rourke Kevin O'Rourke Oxford Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Pagano Marco Pagano Università di Napoli Federico II Uncertain 7
No strong evidence for this: e.g. see "Women on boards: The superheroes of tomorrow?" by Renee Adams .
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Pastor Lubos Pastor Chicago Booth Disagree 5
Constrained maximization is less efficient than unconstrained. Gender-based discrimination, if any, would have to be strong to offset this.
Bio/Vote History
         
Persson Torsten Persson Stockholm University Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Pissarides Christopher Pissarides LSE Agree 7
It will ensure more diversity in the views expressed and potential shareholders will have more confidence in the board as a supervisory body
Bio/Vote History
         
Portes Richard Portes London Business School Agree 6
I have seen empirical research that appears to support this assertion, and I have not seen any that contradicts it. But it’s not my field!
Bio/Vote History
         
Prendergast Canice Prendergast Chicago Booth Uncertain 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Reichlin Lucrezia Reichlin London Business School Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Repullo Rafael Repullo CEMFI Agree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Rey Hélène Rey London Business School Agree 9
Diversity improves outcomes in a complex world.
Bio/Vote History
         
Schoar Antoinette Schoar MIT Uncertain 9
Bio/Vote History
         
Van Reenen John Van Reenen MIT Disagree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Vickers John Vickers Oxford Uncertain 2
Bio/Vote History
         
Voth Hans-Joachim Voth University of Zurich Agree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Weder di Mauro Beatrice Weder di Mauro Gutenberg University Mainz and INSEAD Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Whelan Karl Whelan University College Dublin Uncertain 1
Bio/Vote History
         
Wyplosz Charles Wyplosz The Graduate Institute Geneva Disagree 2
Diversity is good, but not sure that the impact will be significant.
Bio/Vote History
         
Zilibotti Fabrizio Zilibotti Universität Zurich Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         

Question B Participant Responses

Participant University Vote Confidence Comment Bio/Vote History
Aghion Philippe Aghion Harvard Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Allen Franklin Allen Imperial College London Agree 4
I think there would be long term benefits of quotas for this kind of reason.
Bio/Vote History
         
Antras Pol Antras Harvard Uncertain 8
Again I am broadly supportive. But a 25% vs a 40% quota could generate very distinct effects. The 40% quota in Norway didn't seem to do much
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Besley Timothy J. Besley LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Blanchard Olivier Blanchard Peterson Institute Agree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Bloom Nicholas Bloom Stanford Disagree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Blundell Richard William Blundell University College London Agree 8
In terms of potential earnings and productivity growth, increasing the female share could have a large overall gain.
Bio/Vote History
         
Bénassy-Quéré Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Paris School of Economics Uncertain 1
Bio/Vote History
         
Carletti Elena Carletti Bocconi Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Danthine Jean-Pierre Danthine Paris School of Economics Agree 4
A voluntary push to increase the number of women board members would be beneficial but it should be progressive and adapted to startingpoint
Bio/Vote History
         
De Grauwe Paul De Grauwe LSE Uncertain 2
Bio/Vote History
         
Eeckhout Jan Eeckhout University College London Strongly Agree 9
Bio/Vote History
         
Fehr Ernst Fehr Universität Zurich Uncertain 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Freixas Xavier Freixas Universitat Pompeu Fabra Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Fuchs-Schündeln Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Agree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Galí Jordi Galí Universitat Pompeu Fabra Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Garicano Luis Garicano LSE Agree 6
Increased diversity eads to more equality of opportunity in society and better decisions (taking better into account all preferences)
Bio/Vote History
         
Giavazzi Francesco Giavazzi Bocconi Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Griffith Rachel Griffith University of Manchester Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Guerrieri Veronica Guerrieri Chicago Booth Uncertain 6
Quotas may give the incentive to women to invest more in human capital, but again stigma may backfire in the longer run
Bio/Vote History
         
Guiso Luigi Guiso Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Hellwig Martin Hellwig Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Honohan Patrick Honohan Trinity College Dublin Agree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Kleven Henrik Kleven Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Krahnen Jan Pieter Krahnen Goethe University Frankfurt Agree 2
The sum of two marginal effects - one positive (women), the other negative (men) - is likely to be positive in this case.
Bio/Vote History
         
Krusell Per Krusell Stockholm University Agree 4
It's about making use of the talents of the entire population: good for prosperity. Much of management is (male) networking.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kőszegi Botond Kőszegi Central European University Disagree 2
Bio/Vote History
         
La Ferrara Eliana La Ferrara Bocconi Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Leuz Christian Leuz Chicago Booth Uncertain 3
Even if effects on firm value were negative, could still make sense for society to do it. But GE & long run effects are very hard to judge.
Bio/Vote History
         
Meghir Costas Meghir Yale Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Neary Peter Neary Oxford Uncertain 4
Benefits yes; more openings for women, encouraging human capital acquisition, better decisions. I am not sure they would be "substantial"
Bio/Vote History
         
O'Rourke Kevin O'Rourke Oxford Strongly Agree 10
Bio/Vote History
         
Pagano Marco Pagano Università di Napoli Federico II Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Pastor Lubos Pastor Chicago Booth Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Persson Torsten Persson Stockholm University Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Pissarides Christopher Pissarides LSE Strongly Agree 9
Incentives to create more jobs for qualified women will encourage more education and will increase the pool of qualified people overall
Bio/Vote History
         
Portes Richard Portes London Business School Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Prendergast Canice Prendergast Chicago Booth Agree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Reichlin Lucrezia Reichlin London Business School Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Repullo Rafael Repullo CEMFI Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Rey Hélène Rey London Business School Strongly Agree 9
I could see many positive spillover effects.
Bio/Vote History
         
Schoar Antoinette Schoar MIT Agree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Van Reenen John Van Reenen MIT Disagree 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Vickers John Vickers Oxford Uncertain 2
Bio/Vote History
         
Voth Hans-Joachim Voth University of Zurich Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Weder di Mauro Beatrice Weder di Mauro Gutenberg University Mainz and INSEAD Agree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Whelan Karl Whelan University College Dublin Disagree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Wyplosz Charles Wyplosz The Graduate Institute Geneva Agree 3
In the long run, removing discrimination can only be good. But how good?
Bio/Vote History
         
Zilibotti Fabrizio Zilibotti Universität Zurich Agree 9
Bio/Vote History
         

About the European IGM Economic Experts Panel

This panel explores the views of European economists on vital public policy issues. It does this by polling them on important policy questions, by including a way for them to explain their answers briefly if they wish, and by disseminating these responses directly to the public in a simple format.

To that end, our panel was chosen to include distinguished experts with a keen interest in public policy from the main areas of economics, to be geographically diverse, and to include older and younger scholars. As with the IGM’s US panel, the experts are all outstanding researchers in their fields. The panel includes recipients of top national and international prizes in economics, fellows of the Econometric society and the European Economic Association, members of distinguished national and international policymaking bodies in Europe, recipients of significant grants for economic research, highly accomplished affiliates and program directors of the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the National Bureau of Economic Research, and past and current editors of leading academic journals in the profession. This approach not only provides a set of panelists whose names will be familiar to other economists and the media, but also delivers a group with impeccable qualifications to speak on public policy matters in Europe and beyond.

Questions for the European IGM Economic Experts Panel are emailed individually to all members of the panel. They are phrased as statements with which one can agree or disagree. The experts are also asked how confident they are in their knowledge of the issue associated with the question (10 being highest). Each panelist responds electronically at his or her convenience. Panelists may consult whatever resources they like before answering. They may also include brief comments with their responses, or provide links to relevant sources.

It is important to explain one aspect of our voting process. In some instances a panelist may neither agree nor disagree with a statement, and there can be two very different reasons for this. One case occurs when an economist knows a lot about a topic and yet sees the evidence on the exact claim at hand as ambiguous. In such cases our panelists vote "uncertain". A second case relates to statements on topics so far removed from the economist's knowledge that he or she does not feel well placed to judge. In this case, our panelists vote "no opinion".

Panelists suggest many of the questions themselves. Members of the public are also welcome to suggest questions (see link below). Although IGM faculty members are responsible for deciding the final version of each question, we send a draft of the question to the panel in advance and invite them to point out problems with the wording if they see any. This process helps us to reduce vagueness or problems of interpretation.

The panel data are copyrighted by the Initiative on Global Markets and will be analyzed for an article to appear in a peer-reviewed journal.

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