American Accounting Association

AUGUST 4–8, 2012  •  WASHINGTON, DC

Session Title: Gender and Work-Life Balance in Investing, Directing & Work
Presentation Date: Monday August 6, 2012
Presentation Time: 4:00 pm-5:30 pm

Will Women Lead the Way? Differences in Information preferences for investment decisions

Jeffrey Cohen, Boston College
Lori Holder-Webb, Western New England University
Leda Nath, University of Wisconsin Whitewater

ABSTRACT: Recent years have featured a surge of academic and practice interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and related corporate reporting. The primary interest of this study is to determine whether investor demographics appear to be enfranchised equally with respect to current disclosure policies. We use feminist intersectionality, which suggests that gender intersects with other identities to yield different values and life experiences which may create gender-based preferences for CSR information. Based upon a survey of 750 U.S.-based retail investors, we find that female retail investors have a greater interest in the use of CSR information, relative to males. It appears that current disclosure practices provide a less than optimal match with the needs of the information consumers that are primarily interested in using this information.

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