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CEO successions and firm performance in the US financial industry

  • Antonio Falato
  • Dalida Kadyrzhanova

This paper examines the labor market for CEOs in the financial sector from 1988 to 2007, using a new hand-collected sample of 1,655 CEO successions. We document that there is a significant role of outside successions, as about one out of two successions involves an outside hire. In addition, using difference-in-differences estimates, we study the link between the labor market for finance CEOs and firm performance. We document that (1) there is a large performance gap between inside and outside successions, as outside successions are followed by significantly larger improvements in firm performance; (2) the performance gap between outside and inside successions is larger for firms with an insider dominated board of directors; (3) the performance gap widened after an important deregulation event (the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act). These results are robust to using a battery of firm performance measures (short-run and long-run stock market returns, and several long-run operating performance measures) and a matched sample approach to address selection issues. Overall, our findings suggest that managerial human capital is very valuable in the financial industry, and weak internal governance hurts firm performance by limiting the scope of labor market competition.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-79.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-79
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  1. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Fried, Jesse, 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," CEPR Discussion Papers 3961, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Milbourn, Todd T., 2003. "CEO reputation and stock-based compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 233-262, May.
  3. Shivaram Rajgopal & Terry Shevlin & Valentina Zamora, 2006. "CEOs' Outside Employment Opportunities and the Lack of Relative Performance Evaluation in Compensation Contracts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1813-1844, 08.
  4. Weisbach, Michael S., 1988. "Outside directors and CEO turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 431-460, January.
  5. Dirk Jenter & Fadi Kanaan, 2006. "CEO Turnover and Relative Performance Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 12068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Thomas Philippon & Ariell Reshef, 2009. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909-2006," NBER Working Papers 14644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Fried, Jesse & Walker, David I, 2002. "Managerial Power and Rent Extraction in the Design of Executive Compensation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3558, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Michael Waldman, 1983. "Job Assignments, Signalling nad Efficiency," UCLA Economics Working Papers 286, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  10. 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.
  11. Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 468-505, June.
  12. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Fried, Jesse M., 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt81q3136r, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  13. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Career Concerns of Mutual Fund Managers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 389-432.
  14. Morten Bennedsen & Kasper Meisner Nielsen & Francisco Perez-Gonzalez & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2007. "Inside the Family Firm: The Role of Families in Succession Decisions and Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 647-691.
  15. Oyer, Paul, 2001. "Why Do Firms Use Incentives That Have No Incentive Effects?," Research Papers 1686, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  16. repec:oup:restud:v:53:y:1986:i:3:p:325-47 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932.
  18. 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.
  19. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-64, April.
  20. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2006. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," 2006 Meeting Papers 518, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  21. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "Executive Compensation, Strategic Competition, and Relative Performance Evaluation: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 1999-2043, December.
  22. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
  23. Denis, David J. & Denis, Diane K. & Sarin, Atulya, 1997. "Ownership structure and top executive turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 193-221, August.
  24. Mark R. Huson, 2001. "Internal Monitoring Mechanisms and CEO Turnover: A Long-Term Perspective," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2265-2297, December.
  25. Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2005. "Trends in Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2351-2384, October.
  26. Parrino, Robert, 1997. "CEO turnover and outside succession A cross-sectional analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 165-197, November.
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