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A variety of empirical studies analyzed the impact of board attributes on corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting with mixed results during the last decade. In view of this heterogeneity and increased relevance, we conduct a meta-analysis on 51 empirical-quantitative studies and include board independence, the absence of CEO duality, gender diversity and board size as key board attributes. We find that board independence and gender diversity are positively linked with CSR reporting. Furthermore, we examine whether this relationship is moderated by country-specific governance aspects (shareholder protection, legal enforcement, and code law regime). We find that board independence and gender diversity are stronger related to CSR reporting in countries with a higher range of shareholder protection and higher legal enforcement strength. We do not find any evidence for a moderator effect of code law regimes. To analyze the sensitivity of our study, we differentiate between CSR reporting measures (individual disclosure scores versus external CSR disclosure ratings) and publication quality of our included papers (journals of the ABS ranking) and found robust results. Recommendations for future research practice and regulation will be discussed.

Keywords: Board Composition, CSR Reporting, Board Diversity, Board Independence, CEO Duality, Board Size, Gender Diversity

JEL Classification: M410, M420

Received: 29.12.2018

Accepted: 14.02.2019

Published online: 15.02.2019

How to cite this paper: Velte, P. (2019). Does board composition influence CSR reporting? A meta-analysis. Corporate Ownership & Control, 16(2), 48-59.