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Gender diverse board and earnings management: evidence from French listed companies

Sana Triki Damak (Department of Accounting and Taxation, Institute of High Commercial Studies (IHEC Sfax), Sfax, Tunisia)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 14 May 2018

Issue publication date: 21 August 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of board gender diversity on earnings management level and strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is conducted in the French context where firms are pressured since 2010 to appoint more women on boards. More specifically, this research is based on a sample of 85 companies listed in the SBF120 over 2010-2014. A number of econometric techniques are used including generalized least squares to test the panel regressions.

Findings

The results suggest that women on boards are effective in their monitoring role. Indeed, the findings show a significant negative effect of board women presence on earnings management practices level. However, there is no empirical evidence that board gender diversity affects the earnings management strategy. Moreover, the results reveal that some control variables influence significantly the earnings management level and strategy.

Practical implications

The findings support the efforts made by French political bodies to increase gender diversity on corporate boards, and might inspire political actors of other countries to take initiatives to regulate the promotion of women’s appointment on boards of directors.

Social implications

This paper contributes to the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice. Indeed, the findings highlight the beneficial effects of women participation in power and decision-making positions.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the debate around gender diversity on boards. Most prior studies that have analyzed the relationship between gender diversity and earnings management were conducted in a voluntary context of appointing women on boards. This paper extends prior research by addressing this issue differently and in a regulated context: where the government set mandatory quotas for female board representation.

Keywords

Citation

Triki Damak, S. (2018), "Gender diverse board and earnings management: evidence from French listed companies", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 289-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-08-2017-0088

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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