Gender premium and economic downswings

Elona Shehu, Khurram Shahzad, Ghulame Rubbaniy*, Abida Perveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Using data of 2140 US firms over the period of 1998–2012, we investigate if gender–compensation relationship exists in executives’ compensation and bonus plans of the US firms; and whether this compensation difference is more visible during economic downswings. We find that not only the gender premium exists for male CEOs in executives’ compensation plans of the US companies but also the male executive bonuses are more sensitive to market downturns compared to their female counterparts. On average, female executives get a gender disadvantage in the form of lower total compensation and bonuses compared to their male counterparts, which persists even during adverse economic conditions. Finally, contrary to our initial expectations, we find male and female CEOs are equally likely to be laid-off, even during market recessions, despite female CEOs being claimed better manager by the mainstream literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • CEO compensation
  • Corporate governance
  • Firm performance
  • Gender
  • Gender premium
  • Global financial crisis

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