Credentials Matter, but Only for Men: Evidence from the S&P 500

Gender diversity in the boardroom and the C-suite is one of the most contentious topics in corporate governance. Proponents of greater diversity argue that the lack of women directors and top executives is a missed opportunity and that increasing their numbers will improve corporate governance, and ultimately, increase shareholder value. Efforts toward that goal have included State Street’s “Fearless Girl” campaign, California’s two board-diversity statutes, and the recently approved NASDAQ rule. Many opponents of these measures stress that they don’t oppose diversity per se, but argue that there is a shortage of qualified women. As a … Read more

Stock Market Indices: Inside the Black Box

The news that a whistleblower contacted U.S. regulators last month about alleged manipulation of the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, or VIX, highlights near universal reliance on information that stock market indices provide. While the VIX is not itself a stock market index – it is constructed from the implied volatility of S&P 500 index options – the fact that it is designed to track the expected volatility of another index only reinforces the centrality of indices in the modern economy. Other uses of stock market indices abound: Investors rely on them to evaluate the returns on their investment … Read more