Board Diversity as a Shield During the Financial Crisis

  • Peter-Jan Engelen
  • Annette van den Berg
  • Gerwin van der Laan


This chapter examines the link between board diversity and firm financial performance for a sample of Dutch listed companies during the recent financial crisis. We examine seven dimensions of diversity: nationality diversity, gender diversity, diversity with respect to the level of education, diversity with respect to the field of education, expertise diversity, socioeconomic background diversity and age diversity. Our empirical results show a hyperbolic relation between the focal variables age diversity, expertise diversity and background diversity and firm financial performance. We also find that gender diversity, nationality diversity and diversity with respect to education have no impact on firm performance during crisis times. Our empirical results show that focusing on only one dimension of the full diversity vector or on linear effects only can lead to detrimental economic effects.


Corporate Governance Firm Performance Board Member Total Asset Gender Diversity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter-Jan Engelen
    • 1
  • Annette van den Berg
    • 1
  • Gerwin van der Laan
    • 1
  1. 1.Utrecht University School of EconomicsUtrechtNetherlands

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