New kids on the block: The effect of Generation X directors on corporate performance

Academic Article


  • Generation X directors are slowly replacing Baby Boomers on U.S. corporate boards and will eventually dominate corporate boardrooms in the U.S. and around the world. We provide the first empirical evidence that the presence of Generation X directors is associated with better corporate performance. The Generation X effect is not driven by other director attributes such as sex, ethnicity, or professional expertise, and is robust to instrumental variables estimation. The result is also independent from the effect of director age which, although related to director’s generational identity, captures something fundamentally different and is controlled for in all our regressions. Finally, we document that companies with Generation X directors engage in value enhancing ESG and innovation activities and facilitate the inclusion of women on the board.
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 2023
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Board structure
  • Generation X
  • board diversity
  • corporate innovation
  • corporate social responsibility
  • female directors
  • firm performance
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 66
  • End Page

  • 87
  • Volume

  • 71