Glassdoor's Best Places to Work International: Are They Best for Shareholders?

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Warnaka, Matt Alan
Area of Honors:
Finance (Behrend)
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Greg Filbeck, Thesis Supervisor
  • Greg Filbeck, Honors Advisor
  • Jessica Zhao, Faculty Reader
  • Finance
  • Glassdoor
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Best Places to Work
  • Abnormal Returns
In 2015, Glassdoor published its first international Best Places to Work list in the United Kingdom. Since then, Glassdoor has begun publishing 10 different Best Places to Work lists in 9 different countries. Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work lists are unique in that rankings are solely based upon employee reviews and is not influenced by self-nominations or a cost paid by a company. With 67 million unique visitors each month, these Glassdoor lists have the potential to impact investors. In this paper, we explore whether firms appearing on lists for Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom result in short-term announcement effects or long-term superior holding period returns on a raw and risk-adjusted basis. We find that our Canadian sample earns statistically significant abnormal returns in the announcement window five days after the announcement date. The Canadian sample also earns statistically significant abnormal returns in the longer-term holding periods according to Jensen’s alpha, and the 3-factor and 4-factor Fama-French model. The Canadian sample also outperforms its matched sample and local index according to risk-based measures.