IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/cbsnow/2007_013.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do CEOs Matter?

Author

Listed:
  • Bennedsen, Morten

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Pérez-González, Francisco

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Wolfenzon, Daniel

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

Abstract

Abstract. Estimating the value of top managerial talent is a central topic of research that has attracted widespread attention from academics and practitioners. Yet, testing for the importance of chief executive officers (CEOs) on firm outcomes is challenging. In this paper we test for the impact of CEOs on performance by assessing the effect of (1) CEO deaths and (2) the death of CEOs immediate family members (spouse, parents, children, etc), which arguably affects CEOs focus. Using a unique dataset from Denmark, we find that CEO (but not board members ) own and family deaths are strongly correlated with declines in firm operating profitability, investment and sales growth. Our CEO shock-outcome analysis allows us to identify the shocks that are the most (least) meaningful for CEOs: the death of children and spouses (mothers-in-law). We show that individual CEO, firm and industry characteristics seem to affect the impact of these shocks. In particular, CEO effects are larger (lower) for longer-tenured (older) CEOs and for those managers with large investment fixed effects. CEO shocks are relevant across the size distribution of firms but are concentrated on those firms that invested heavily in the past. Lastly, we find that CEO shocks tend to be larger in rapid growth, high investment and R&D intensive industries. Overall, our findings demonstrate managers are a key determinant of firm performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Bennedsen, Morten & Pérez-González, Francisco & Wolfenzon, Daniel, 2007. "Do CEOs Matter?," Working Papers 13-2007, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsnow:2007_013
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://openarchive.cbs.dk/cbsweb/handle/10398/7523
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
    2. von Lilienfeld-Toal, Ulf & Ruenzi, Stefan, 2006. "Why managers hold shares of their firm: An empirical analysis," CFR Working Papers 06-11, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    3. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2007. "A Calibratable Model of Optimal CEO Incentives in Market Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 13372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Nguyen, Bang Dang & Nielsen, Kasper Meisner, 2010. "The value of independent directors: Evidence from sudden deaths," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 550-567, December.
    5. Naz, Iram & Shah, Syed Muhammad Amir & Kutan, Ali M., 2017. "Do managers of sharia-compliant firms have distinctive financial styles?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 174-187.
    6. Bernile, Gennaro & Jarrell, Gregg A., 2009. "The impact of the options backdating scandal on shareholders," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1-2), pages 2-26, March.
    7. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw & Christopher T. Stanton, 2014. "The Value of Bosses," CEP Discussion Papers dp1318, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Owan, Hideo & Takahashi, Shingo & Tsuru, Tsuyoshi & Uehara, Katsuhito, 2014. "Finding Good Managers: An Econometric Case Study of a Large Japanese Auto Dealership," Discussion Paper Series 609, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    9. Lazear, Edward P. & Shaw, Kathryn L., 2014. "The value of bosses," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Lustig, Hanno & Syverson, Chad & Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2011. "Technological change and the growing inequality in managerial compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 601-627, March.
    11. Lazear, Edward P. & Shaw, Kathryn L. & Stanton, Christopher, 2014. "The value of bosses," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59022, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Frederiksen, Anders & Kahn, Lisa B. & Lange, Fabian, 2017. "Supervisors and Performance Management Systems," IZA Discussion Papers 10725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Gürerk, Özgür & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2009. "Motivating teammates: The leader's choice between positive and negative incentives," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 591-607, August.
    14. Steven N. Kaplan & Mark M. Klebanov & Morten Sorensen, 2008. "Which CEO Characteristics and Abilities Matter?," NBER Working Papers 14195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    na;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsnow:2007_013. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lars Nondal). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/incbsdk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.