Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Member

Howard Bodenhorn

Committee Member

Peter Blair

Committee Member

Robert Fleck

Committee Member

Daniel Greene


My first chapter studies tenure on corporate boards. It is unclear how the length of tenure of directors on corporate boards is related to the board’s purpose of overseeing firm management. I provide insight to the relationship using a sample of corporate directors for firms in the S&P 1500 for the period 1996–2017. I find that director tenure influences membership on three important committees. I also find that tenure of board members on committees is related to important committee outcomes, such as the need to refile financial statements and CEO compensation. Finally, I find that firms with long median tenures on their boards do not experience more CEO turnover, but do have lower market-to-book ratios. My results provide evidence of tenure’s importance on boards.

My second chapter revisits an influential and well-cited paper by Adams and Ferreira (2009) on the effect of female representation in corporate boards on the inputs of the board and the consequences of those inputs to the firm. I replicate the original work using the time period 1996–2003 and find that my sample replicates many of their findings. I also test their findings for persistence using a second sample of board members from S&P 1500 firms for the period 2004–2017. I find that many of the results do not persist in the latter time period.

In my third chapter, we show that the gender wage gap is substantially smaller among part-time workers than among full-time workers in the U.S., and that this has been true since at least the 1970s. An explanation for this new fact is that increased labor market flexibility reduces gender wage gaps. However, we find that labor market flexibility arising from legal mandates such as the Family and Medical Leave Act reduced gender wage convergence and contributed to the stagnation of women’s wages beginning in the mid-1990s. We conclude that flexibility arising from workers sorting into part-time work has the opposite effect of flexibility arising from government mandates.



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