Purpose: Theory suggests that the market for corporate control, which constitutes an important external governance mechanism, may substitute for internal governance. Consistent with this notion, using a novel measure of takeover vulnerability primarily based on state legislation, this paper aims to investigate the effect of the takeover market on board characteristics with special emphasis on board gender diversity. Design/methodology/approach: This paper exploits a novel measure of takeover vulnerability based on state legislation. This novel measure is likely exogenous as the legislation was imposed from outside the firm. By using an exogenous measure, the analysis is less vulnerable to endogeneity and is thus more likely to show a causal effect. Findings: The results show that a more active takeover market leads to lower board gender diversity. Specifically, a rise in takeover vulnerability by one standard deviation results in a decline in board gender diversity by 10.01%. Moreover, stronger takeover market susceptibility also brings about larger board size and less board independence, corroborating the substitution effect. Additional analysis confirms the results, including propensity score matching, generalized method of moments dynamic panel data analysis and instrumental variable analysis. Originality/value: The study is the first to explore the effect of the takeover market on board gender diversity. Unlike most of the previous research in this area, which suffers from endogeneity, this paper uses a novel measure of takeover vulnerability that is probably exogenous. The results are thus much more likely to demonstrate causality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)