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Managerial Duties and Managerial Biases


  • Malmendier, Ulrike M.
  • Pezone, Vincenzo
  • Zheng, Hui


Traits and biases of CEOs are known to significantly affect corporate outcomes. However, analyzing individual managers in isolation can result in misattribution. Our analysis focuses on the role of CEO and CFO overconfidence in financing decisions. We show that, when considered jointly, the distorted beliefs of the CFO, rather than the CEO, dominate in generating pecking-order financing distortions. CEO overconfidence still matters indirectly for financing as the CEO's (and not CFO's) type determines investors' assessment of default risk and the resulting financing conditions. Moreover, overconfident CEOs tend to hire overconfident CFOs whenever given the opportunity, generating a multiplier effect.

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  • Malmendier, Ulrike M. & Pezone, Vincenzo & Zheng, Hui, 2020. "Managerial Duties and Managerial Biases," CEPR Discussion Papers 14929, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14929

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    Cited by:

    1. Marius Guenzel & Ulrike Malmendier, 2020. "Behavioral Corporate Finance: The Life Cycle of a CEO Career," NBER Working Papers 27635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tim R. Adam & Valentin Burg & Tobias Scheinert & Daniel Streitz, 2020. "Managerial Biases and Debt Contract Design: The Case of Syndicated Loans," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(1), pages 352-375, January.

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