NIAS Seminar by Irene van Staveren: The 'Lehman Sisters hypothesis': a discussion of finance and gender

17 June 2010 from 16:00 to 16:00 hrs
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Do women perform better in finance than men? Or do they simply take fewer risks? Why are women, such as in Iceland for example, called upon to clean up the mess? And why are there so few women at the top of finance?

These are examples of questions that have recently come up under the heading the 'Lehman Sisters hypothesis', which suggest that if banks and investment funds had been run by women, we would not have had this crisis. The seminar will draw on existing gender disaggregated empirical research from experimental economics, portfolio investment analysis and political economy descriptive data. These empirical results will be analyzed in relation to the ethical theory of care, which suggests that women generally tend to follow caring ethics more often, whereas men generally tend to follow rule-based ethics more often. Connecting these two strands of literature, the 'Lehman Sisters hypothesis' will be tested in an indirect and preliminary way.

The NIAS Seminar series is a sequence of lectures organised each academic year by the Rector of the Institute. These seminars are meant to appeal to interested parties from a wide range of backgrounds. It is hoped that the series will encourage closer contact within the Dutch academic world.

The lectures are followed by an open discussion.