Listed zombie firms and top executive gender: Evidence from an emerging market

Jianchun Fang, Giray Gozgor, Chi Keung Marco Lau, Wanshan Wu, Cheng Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the implication of top executive gender on the zombie likelihood of firms listed in China's stock market. Our investigation shows that an increase in female executive percentage can significantly reduce corporate risk and zombie likelihood. This reduction in zombie likelihood is mainly achieved by the financial supervision of the female CFOs, mainly through the channels of quality improvement in information disclosure as well as in corporate governance. By contrast, loans and subsidies from local governments and financial institutions do not improve the performance of listed companies but increase zombie likelihood. Female executives' previous appointments with government agencies and financial institutions increase zombie likelihood as well. The academic background of female executives does not affect zombie likelihood. These findings provide insights into the relationship between executive gender diversity and corporate governance. We provide policy recommendations to help address the issue of zombie firms in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101357
Number of pages17
JournalPacific Basin Finance Journal
Early online date30 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


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