Glass Ceilings in the Art Market?

Fabian Bocart (Artnet Corporation)
Marina Gertsberg (Maastricht University)
Rachel Pownall (Maastricht University)

Abstract : We provide strong empirical evidence of decreasing barriers for female artists in a market historically characterized by high gender inequality using an exclusive data set consisting of the population of fine art transactions for Western artists since the millennium. First, controlling for artwork characteristics, we find an average price premium of 4.4% for artworks by female artists at auction driven by female lots from older generations. This reflects larger structural barriers prevalent in the past resulting in a selection of more talented women to enter the profession. Second, while we still find that contemporary female artists are less likely to transition from the primary (gallery) into the secondary (auction) market than male artists we also show a larger increase in the number of female artists traded at auction as well as convergence in average prices between men and women. Lastly, we shot that the superstar effect, where a small number of individuals absorb the majority of industry rewards, prevails; at the top 0.1% of the market, artworks by female artists are traded at a discount of 20%. Overall, we show that as women are becoming more recognized they are breaking through the glass ceiling by moving more into the previously male dominated space at the top end of the art market. Our study has important implications for industries characterized by a superstar effect, information asymmetries and inertia towards underrepresented groups.

Gender Inequality, Taxation and Institutions: a Historical Perspective

Monica Bozzano (University of Pavia)
Paola Profeta (Bocconi University)
Simona Scabrosetti (University of Pavia)

Abstract : Drawing from different, but interlinked strands of the literature, which investigate the political economy of taxation, the impact of women’s enfranchisement on the size and composition of government and the lasting effect of distant history on female outcomes, this study focuses on the interactions between gender inequality, tax structure, and institutions both across time and space. In particular, the paper aims at empirically exploring the historical roots and institutional determinants of the emergence of different gender biases in tax rules and regimes across countries, focusing among others on the role played by the legacy of the timing of women’s enfranchisement, family types and values, and patriarchal norms. Preliminary results show that the timing of women’s enfranchisement and the degree of historical status of women in the family are significantly related to the structure of the taxation systems of different countries at the world level. In particular the share of direct taxes is higher in those countries where the suffrage were extended to women earlier and women historically play a more relevant role within the family.

The Unintended Effect of Gender Quotas on Bank Performance: Director Busyness

Katarzyna Burzynska (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Gaby Contreras (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Abstract : The adoption of corporate board quotas over the recent years in many European countries has been both remarkable and controversial. We ask how busyness of female directors on boards of financial institutions was affected by the adoption and analyze the consequences for the corporate performance. Examining a sample of 414 European financial institutions between 2009 and 2016 we find that the number of external appointments held by female directors increases after the introduction of quotas. We find no evidence that the new appointments lead female directors to shirk their responsibilities. We conclude that our findings do not support the concerns that gender quotas harm the quality of corporate governance in the financial sector.

New Evidence on Board Gender Diversity from a Large Panel of European Firms

Joanna Tyrowicz (IAAEU, FAME)
Siri Terjesen (GRAPE, University of Warsaw & IZA)

Abstract : Using a unique database of over 20 million firms over two decades, we examine industry sector and national institution drivers of the prevalence of women directors on supervisory and management boards in both public and private firms across advanced and emerging European economies. We demonstrate that gender board diversity has generally increased, yet women remain rare in both boards: approximately 70% of European firms have no women directors on their supervisory boards, and 60% have no women directors on management boards. We leverage institutional and resource dependency theoretical frameworks to demonstrate that few systematic factors are associated with greater gender diversity for both supervisory and management boards among both private and public firms: the same factor may exhibit a positive correlation to a management board, and a negative correlation to a supervisory board, or vice versa. We interpret these findings as evidence that country-level gender equality and cultural institutions exhibit differentiated correlations with the presence of women in management and supervisory boards. We also find little evidence that sector-level competition and innovativeness are systematically associated with presence of women on either board in either group of firms.