Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Nacasius U. Ujah

Second Advisor

Joseph M. Santos


chief executive officers, corporate finance, event study, firm performance, gender bias, market efficiency


Women remain conspicuously underrepresented at the highest levels of corporate management; thus, it seems, gender matters. Gender bias in financial markets would imply an inefficient market, which necessarily constrains economic performance and social welfare more generally. To measure gender bias, I examine the cumulative abnormal returns around CEO announcements from 1992 through 2016 using a modified event study methodology. Existing event studies in this field are inconclusive as to whether or not such a bias exists. Therefore, this research contributes to the literature by extending the data, using a larger event window, and studying bias over time and firm size. I find that the market reacts differently to female CEOs in all three cases: a difference of negative 54 basis points in a pooled study, between negative 202 and positive 204 basis points when measured over time, and as much as negative 250 basis points when analyzed by firm size. Moreover, I analyze firm performance data for the same firms, concluding that returns are not conditional on gender. Market perception of difference between male and female performance is irrational.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women chief executive officers.
Chief executive officers.
Women executives.
Gender identity -- Psychological aspects.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 56-59)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright