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Overconfidence and Early-life Experiences: The Impact of Managerial Traits on Corporate Financial Policies

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  • Ulrike Malmendier
  • Geoffrey Tate
  • Jonathan Yan

Abstract

We show that measurable managerial characteristics have significant explanatory power for corporate financing decisions beyond traditional capital-structure determinants. First, managers who believe that their firm is undervalued view external financing as overpriced, especially equity. Such overconfident managers use less external finance and, conditional on accessing risky capital, issue less equity than their peers. Second, CEOs with Depression experience are averse to debt and lean excessively on internal finance. Third, CEOs with military experience pursue more aggressive policies, including heightened leverage. Complementary measures of CEO traits based on press portrayals confirm the results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15659.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Publication status: published as Overconfidence and Early - life Experiences: The Effect of Managerial Traits on Corporate Financial Policies (with G. Tate and J. Yan). Journal of Financ e , October 2011, vol. 66(5) , pp. 1687 - 1733.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15659

Note: CF LE LS PE
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Cited by:
  1. Hirshleifer, David & Low, Angie & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2010. "Are Overconfident CEOs Better Innovators?," MPRA Paper 22425, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ron Kaniel & Cade Massey & David T. Robinson, 2010. "The Importance of Being an Optimist: Evidence from Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 16328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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