Faculty of Business Administration

Distinguished Scholar Seminar


Gender Difference in Tolerance of Sexual Crimes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in the Stock Market

Prof. Huasheng GAO
Professor of Finance
Fudan University in Shanghai, China


Date:       Wednesday, 7 April 2021
Time:     11:00 a.m.
Format:   Online via Zoom






We present evidence that males are more tolerant of sex crimes than females. Our tests exploit a natural experiment in the stock market, in which a public firm CEO is arrested by raping a 9-year-old girl. Based on the account-level stock trading data, we show that, in response to such a crime, males are more likely to hold this firm’s stock than females. Such a gender difference is stronger among more sophisticated investors, and reduces females’ trading profits. We further show that our findings are unlikely driven by gender differences in other aspects (such as the differences in trading frequency, risk preference, etc.), and that the gender difference towards sex crimes is significantly larger than other non-sexual-related scandals. Overall, our paper makes an important first step in understanding the impact of individual investors’ social preference on their stock trading decisions.


Professor Huasheng Gao currently serves as Professor of Finance, Deputy Dean for Faculty and Research at the Fanhai International School of Finance (FISF), Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Before joining FISF, he was an associate professor of finance (with tenure) at Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University.  Professor Gao is interested in corporate finance, corporate governance, innovation, and executive compensation. His research has been published in leading academic journals including Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Management Science, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, etc.  His research is widely featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the New York Times, National Geographic, etc.

Professor Gao received his bachelor’s degree of Computer Science from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and obtained his Master and PhD degree of finance from the Sauder School of Business in the University of British Columbia.