Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2436765
 


 



Are CEOs Born Leaders? Lessons from Traits of a Million Individuals


Renee B. Adams


University of New South Wales; Financial Research Network (FIRN); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Matti Keloharju


Aalto University - School of Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Samuli Knüpfer


London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

April 15, 2015

IFN Working Paper No. 1024
FIRN Research Paper

Abstract:     
Our study combines a near-exhaustive sample of CEOs of Swedish companies with data on their cognitive and non-cognitive ability and height at age 18. Although CEOs, and large-company CEOs in particular, have better traits than the population on average, they are neither exceptional in any of the traits nor their combination. Large-company CEOs belong to the top 5% of the population in their traits, but to top 0.2% in pay. The mismatch between the moderately high trait values and the exceptionally high pay explains why less than a quarter of the CEO pay premium over the population can be attributed to the traits.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Keywords: CEO, cognitive ability, non-cognitive ability, height, compensation, firm size

JEL Classification: G30, J24, J31


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Date posted: May 15, 2014 ; Last revised: April 16, 2015

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renee B. and Keloharju, Matti and Knüpfer, Samuli, Are CEOs Born Leaders? Lessons from Traits of a Million Individuals (April 15, 2015). IFN Working Paper No. 1024; FIRN Research Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2436765

Contact Information

Renée B. Adams
University of New South Wales ( email )
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
+61(2)93854280 (Phone)

Financial Research Network (FIRN)
C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane
Queensland
Australia
HOME PAGE: http://www.firn.org.au

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium
HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org
Matti Keloharju
Aalto University - School of Business ( email )
P.O. Box 21210
AALTO, FI-00076
Finland
+358 40 353 8043 (Phone)
Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )
Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Samuli Knüpfer (Contact Author)
London Business School ( email )
Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.samuliknupfer.com
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )
Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden
Feedback to SSRN


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