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Understanding the relationship between founder-CEOs and firm performance

  • Adams, Renée
  • Almeida, Heitor
  • Ferreira, Daniel

We use instrumental variables methods to disentangle the effect of founder-CEOs on performance from the effect of performance on founder-CEO status. Our instruments for founder-CEO status are the proportion of the firm's founders that are dead and the number of people who founded the company. We find strong evidence that founder-CEO status is endogenous in performance regressions and that good performance makes it less likely that the founder retains the CEO title. After factoring out the effect of performance on founder-CEO status, we identify a positive causal effect of founder-CEOs on firm performance that is quantitatively larger than the effect estimated through standard OLS regressions. We also find that founder-CEOs are more likely to relinquish the CEO post after periods of either unusually low or unusually high operating performances. All in all, the results in this paper are consistent with a largely positive view of founder control in large US corporations.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Empirical Finance.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 136-150

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Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:16:y:2009:i:1:p:136-150
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jempfin

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  1. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2001. "Why Wait? A Century of Life Before IPO," NBER Working Papers 8081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sraer, David & Thesmar, David, 2004. "Performance and Behaviour of Family Firms: Evidence from the French Stock Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 4520, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Warner, Jerold B. & Watts, Ross L. & Wruck, Karen H., 1988. "Stock prices and top management changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 461-492, January.
  10. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1996. "Endogenously Chosen Boards of Directors and Their Monitoring of the CEO," Microeconomics 9602001, EconWPA, revised 09 Oct 1996.
  11. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
  12. Francisco Pérez-González, 2006. "Inherited Control and Firm Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1559-1588, December.
  13. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
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