Gender, risk-taking and organization form : evidence from the U.S. property-casualty insurance industry

  • Jing LI

Student thesis: PhD Thesis (Lingnan)


In this paper, we investigate the impact of female CEOs on firm’s risk-taking for U.S. property-casualty insurance companies with differing organizational forms. We analyse the three principal organizational form types in the industry—publicly traded stocks, closely held stocks, and mutuals. Less is known about the role of female CEOs in firms with organizational forms other than publicly traded stock firms. Various ownership structures are associated with varying agency costs between owners and managers. We posit that varying firm ownership structures affect the impact of female CEOs on firm risk-taking. We do not find direct evidence of female CEOs on firm risking in mutuals, consistent with the argument that mutuals operate in less complex lines of business and require less managerial discretion. However, female CEOs affect risk-taking in stocks. Specifically, female CEOs reduce the insolvency probability in closely held stocks but not in publicly traded stocks. We also incorporate female directors’ participation into the analysis. Female CEOs and female directors play different roles as managers and monitors within the corporate governance mechanisms respectively. We find that, with female directors’ participation, female CEOs have an additional positive effect on firm risks and performance in publicly traded stocks.
Date of Award19 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Lingnan University
SupervisorJiang CHENG (Supervisor) & Man Lai Sonia WONG (Co-supervisor)

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