Working Paper No. 1165

Gender Quotas in the Board Room and Firm Performance: Evidence from a Credible Threat in Sweden

Published: April 18, 2017Pages: 40Keywords: Gender quotas; Corporate boards; Firm performanceJEL-codes: G34; G38; J16; J48; J78; M12; M51

Gender Quotas in the Board Room and Firm Performance: Evidence from a Credible Threat in Sweden Björn Tyrefors and Joakim Jansson


Board room quotas have recently received an increasing amount of attention. This paper provides novel evidence on firm performance from an exogenous change in female board participation in Sweden. We use the credible threat, aimed at listed firms, of a quota law enacted by the Swedish deputy prime minister as an exogenous variation. The threat caused a substantial and rapid increase in the share of female board members in firms listed on the Stockholm stock exchange. This increase was accompanied by an increase in different measures of firm performance in the same years, which were related to higher sales and lower labor costs.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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