This paper examines the implication of top executive gender on the zombie likelihood of firms listed in China's stock market. Our investigation shows that an increase in female executive percentage can significantly reduce corporate risk and zombie likelihood. This reduction in zombie likelihood is mainly achieved by the financial supervision of the female CFOs, mainly through the channels of quality improvement in information disclosure as well as in corporate governance. By contrast, loans and subsidies from local governments and financial institutions do not improve the performance of listed companies but increase zombie likelihood. Female executives' previous appointments with government agencies and financial institutions increase zombie likelihood as well. The academic background of female executives does not affect zombie likelihood. These findings provide insights into the relationship between executive gender diversity and corporate governance. We provide policy recommendations to help address the issue of zombie firms in China.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge the support from the National Social Science Fund of China ( 16BJY052 ); Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China ( LY18G030040 ; LZ20G010002 ; LY20G030024 ); and Fundamental Research Funds for the Provincial Universities of Zhejiang , China ( GB201902002 ).
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