Exploiting the Norwegian boards of directors’ quota reform of 2003, this study evaluates the impact of increased diversity on firm performance. Applying difference-in-difference approaches to accounting data covering the period 2003–07, the paper compares the return on assets for non-finance public limited companies (PLCs) and ordinary limited companies (LTDs), where of only the former were affected by the reform.
The impact of the reform on firm performance is negligible. Neither changed return on total assets (ROA) nor changed operating revenues and cost can be attributed to the reform. However, following the reform PLCs have to a larger extent accumulated capital, financed by debt or by a combination of debt and own capital.