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The Daily

Study: CEOs with Daughters More Active in Corporate Social Responsibility

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 13, 2015
TwoExecsA recent study has found that companies where the CEO has at least one daughter rate higher on corporate social responsibility metrics such as diversity and employee relations, than companies where the CEO has none. One of the study's authors, Henrik Cronqvist, was recently interviewed by the Harvard Business Review

To measure corporate social responsibility, the authors used the KLD Social Ratings Data, which assesses firms based on six factors: community, diversity, employee relations, environment, human rights, and product. Looking at the scores of the top 500 U.S. firms (i.e. those in the S&P 500) and comparing them to the family composition of their CEOs, the researchers found that when a firm had a CEO with at least one daughter, they would score an average of 11.9 percent higher than the median on the metrics, and would spend 13.4 percent more of its net income on efforts relating to corporate social responsibility. 

"Our results can be straightforwardly summarized. We find evidence of an economically sizable and statistically significant CEO-daughter effect in the context of corporate social responsibility policies, controlling for industry as well as firm and CEO characteristics, including family size (i.e. controlling for the number of CEO children)." 

The study, however, also found that, even more effective than the CEO having a daughter is the CEO being one: "Another way of quantifying the size of the effect is to emphasize that it is about one third of the effect of a CEO herself being female." 

The researchers suggested that having a daughter means the CEO has more personal stake in creating business conditions that are more fair for women: for example, the researchers said that the CEO might have an adult daughter who faced workplace discrimination, and so might pay extra attention to anti-discrimination policies. 

"We’ve always known that parents influence their children. It’s clear now that the reverse is also true. Children can change the way their parents think and act—not just at home but also at work. It’s a different spin on nurture versus nature," said Cronqvist.