Sudip Datta and Francesca Toscano to be published in Journal of Banking and Finance

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Mike Ilitch School of Business Professor of Finance Sudip Datta and Associate Professor of Finance Francesca Toscano have had an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Banking and Finance, which publishes theoretical and empirical research papers on finance and banking.

The article, “Top Executive Gender, Board Gender Diversity, and Financing Decisions: Evidence from Debt Structure Choice,” documents the effects of gender diversity in the C-suite and boardroom on corporate financing decisions.

This article was co-authored by Trang Doan, a former student in the Ilitch School’s Ph.D. program in finance, from Eastern Illinois University.

Abstract

Gender diversity in the C-suite and the boardroom have taken on greater importance in recent years. We establish a gender-based behavioral dimension to corporate debt maturity choice. Female executives choose a significantly shorter debt maturity structure compared to their male counterparts. However, their influence on debt maturity is inversely related to the proportion of their incentive compensation. Additionally, we find a substitution effect that moderates the relationship between executive gender and debt maturity structure as board gender diversity increases. Further, we find that firms led by females benefit from higher corporate credit ratings thus showing that the greater ethical sensitivities of female top executives compensate for the refinancing risk commonly associated with shorter-term debt. Transitions from male-to-female executive(s) result in shortening of debt maturity over the post-transition period. Our results survive a battery of robustness tests, including endogeneity, and contribute at the confluence of gender-based governance and corporate financial decision-making literatures.

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