Our study examines the effects of the racial diversity of a firm’s workforce on shareholder value. We show that the disclosure of racial diversity in firms yields significant, positive abnormal returns. We further test the effects of several indicators of both lower-level and upper-level workforce diversity in explaining variations in abnormal returns. Our results indicate that two measures of lower-level diversity, workforce heterogeneity and percent of minority new hires, and one measure of upper-level diversity, percent of minorities among the firm’s top paid executives, are significantly related to shareholder value. Also, research expenditures, is an important driver of shareholder value in diverse firms. Moreover, workforce heterogeneity is more essential to creating shareholder value in service firms where there is more direct interaction with end-user customers. Thus, consistent with arguments related to the resource-based view and the innovation hypothesis, our study provides empirical support that firms benefit from developing a racially diverse workforce at multiple levels within the organization.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 27, 2013
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