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Are female CFOs less tax aggressive? Evidence from tax aggressiveness

Bill Francis, Iftekhar Hasan (), Qiang Wu () and Meng Yan

No 16/2014, Research Discussion Papers from Bank of Finland

Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of CFO gender on corporate tax aggressiveness. Focusing on firms that experience a male-to-female CFO transition, the paper compares those firms' degree of tax aggressiveness during the pre- and post-transition periods. Using the probability of tax sheltering, the predicted unrecognized tax benefits, and the discretionary permanent book-tax differences to measure tax aggressiveness, we find that female CFOs are associated with less tax aggressiveness as compared to their male counterparts. The main findings are supported by additional tests based on propensity score matching, difference-in-difference tests, and tests with a female-to-male CFO transition sample. Overall, our study establishes CFO gender as an important determinant of tax aggressiveness.

Date: 2014-07-08
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Published in Published in Journal of American Taxation Association Volume 36, Issue 2 2014: 171-202

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