Board gender-balancing and insider trading performance

B. Espen Eckbo and Bernt Arne Ødegaard

Using modern holdings-based performance measures, we test whether the dramatic female-director network expansion caused by Norway's board gender-balancing law has improved the information content and performance of trades by male versus female primary insiders. The potential for a network effect arises because industry peers share firm characteristics. We also examine gender-based insider purchase activity following the exogenous price-shocks during the financial crisis to draw inferences about potential differences in risk aversion. We identify a positive network-spurred information effect but no gender-based difference in either holdings-based performance or crisis-induced purchase activity.

JEL classification: G14; M14

Keywords Board gender-balancing, director network, insider holdings, trading performance, risk aversion