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What Do CEOs Do?

  • Oriana Bandiera
  • Luigi Guiso
  • Andrea Prat
  • Raffaella Sadun

We develop a methodology to collect and analyze data on CEOs' time use. The idea - sketched out in a simple theoretical set-up - is that CEO time is a scarce resource and its allocation can help us identify the firm's priorities as well as the presence of governance issues. We follow 94 CEOs of top-600 Italian firms over a pre-specified week and record the time devoted each day to different work activities. We focus on the distinction between time spent with insiders (employees of the firm) and outsiders (people not employed by the firm). Individual CEOs differ systematically in how much time they spend at work and in how much time they devote to insiders vs. outsiders. We analyze the correlation between time use, managerial effort, quality of governance and firm performance, and interpret the empirical findings within two versions of our model, one with effective and one with imperfect corporate governance. The patterns we observe are consistent with the hypothesis that time spent with outsiders is on average less beneficial to the firm and more beneficial to the CEO and that the CEO spends more time with outsiders when governance is poor.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1145.

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Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1145
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  1. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1996. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9597, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Oriana Bandiera & Luigi Guiso & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2010. "Matching Firms, Managers, and Incentives," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-073, Harvard Business School, revised Aug 2011.
  3. repec:oup:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:4:p:809-39 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  5. Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
  6. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 43-58.
  7. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2008. "Job Search and Unemployment Insurance: New Evidence from Time Use Data," Working Papers 1093, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  9. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," NBER Working Papers 17850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:4:p:1169-1208 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Jeffrey Butler & Paola Giuliano & Luigi Guiso, 2012. "Trust and Cheating," EIEF Working Papers Series 1213, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Oct 2012.
  12. Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2009. "Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 291-309, November.
  13. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Why do Management Practices Differ Across Firms and Countries?," CEP Occasional Papers 26, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:3:p:969-1006 is not listed on IDEAS
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