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This paper investigates whether female independent directors are more likely to impose high dividend payouts. We find evidence that firms with a larger fraction of female directors on their board have greater dividend payouts. This finding is robust to alternative econometric specifications, and alternative measures of dividend payouts. The positive effect of gender composition on dividends remains when we employ propensity score matching and the instrumental variable approach to address potential endogeneity concerns. Furthermore, we find that board gender composition significantly increases dividends only for firms with weak governance, suggesting that female directors use dividend payouts as a governance device.

Published in

Journal of Corporate Finance
Volume 43, pp. 86-105, April 2017,

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