AbstractThis article starts with an overview of the characteristics of chief executive officers (CEOs). I discuss the rising importance of general skills over firm-specific skills and the growing share of externally recruited CEOs. I also discuss possible reasons for the underrepresentation of women and the overrepresentation of family members in the corporate suite. I then review the three main explanations that have been put forward to explain the surge in CEO compensation over the past 30 years: principal-agent view, rent extraction view, and market-based view. I assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of these explanations in light of the existing empirical research. Finally, I review work on how entrenched CEOs or cognitively biased CEOs may cause corporate practices to deviate from the maximization of firm value.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Economics.
Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (05)
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
- L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
- M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
- M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
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