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We highlight the complexities in estimating the valuation effects of board gender quotas by critically revisiting studies of Norway’s pioneering board gender-quota law. We use Ahern and Dittmar (2012)’s short-run event study to illustrate (1) the difficulties in attributing quota-related news to specific dates, (2) the need to account for contemporaneous cross-correlation of stock returns when judging the statistical significance of event-related abnormal stock returns, and (3) the fundamental difficulty of separating quota-induced valuation effects from the influences of firm characteristics and macroeconomic events such as the financial crisis. We provide new evidence suggesting that the valuation effect of Norway’s quota law was statistically insignificant. Overall, our evidence suggests that, at the time of the Norwegian quota, the supply of qualified female director candidates was high enough to avoid the negative consequences of the quota highlighted previously in the literature.

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Management Science, Forthcoming

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