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Corporate Control and Executive Selection

  • Francesco Lippi

    (University of Sassari and EIEF)

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    (University of Cagliari and EIEF)

We present a model in which the owner of the firm enjoys a private benefit from developing a personal relationship with the executives. This may lead the owner to retain a senior executive in office even though a more productive replacement is available. The model shows that the private returns of the employment relationship distort executive selection, reducing the executives’ average ability and the firm productivity. We estimate the structural parameters of the model using a panel of Italian firms with information on the nature of the controlling shareholder, matched with individual records of their executives. These estimates are used to quantify the relevance of private returns and the related productivity gap across firms characterized by four different types of ownership: government, family, conglomerate and foreign. We find that private returns are large in family and government controlled firms, while smaller with other ownership types. The resulting distortion in executive selection can account for TFP differentials between control types of about 10%. The structural estimates are fully consistent with a set of model-based OLS regressions, even though the sample moments used by the two approaches are different.

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Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 1014.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision: Jul 2010
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1014
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  1. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi, 2009. "Financial Innovation and the Transactions Demand for Cash," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 363-402, 03.
  2. Augustin Landier & David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2005. "Bottom-Up Corporate Governance," Working Papers 2005-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. George-Levi Gayle & Limor Golan & Robert A. Miller, . "Promotion, Turover and Compensation in the Executive Market," GSIA Working Papers 2008-E32, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp1109, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2006. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," NBER Working Papers 12365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Oriana Bandiera & Luigi Guiso & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2009. "Matching Firms, Managers and Incentives," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/14, European University Institute.
  7. Federico Cingano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2004. "Identifying the Sources of Local Productivity Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 720-742, 06.
  8. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence from Personnel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Michelacci, Claudio & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2008. "Does Idiosyncratic Business Risk Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. S. Iranzo & F. Schivardi & E. Tosetti, 2006. "Skill dispersion and firm productivity: an analysis with employer-employee matched data," Working Paper CRENoS 200617, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  11. Marko Tervio, 2008. "The Difference That CEOs Make: An Assignment Model Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 642-68, June.
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