DP14942 | Gender diversity in corporate boards: Evidence from quota-implied discontinuities

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We use data across European corporate boards to investigate the effects of quota-induced female representation, under minimal possible identification assumptions. We find that having more women in board causally increases Tobin's Q, despite some negative effects on operating performance and more likely employment downsizings. We interpret this evidence as firms scaling down inefficient operations. Our results highlight that gender quotas are not necessarily a costly way of promoting equality.