Are CEOs Born Leaders? Lessons from Traits of a Million Individuals
Renee B. Adams
University of New South Wales, Department of Banking and Finance; ECGI; FIRN; ABFER
Aalto University - School of Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
BI Norwegian Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
June 24, 2016
IFN Working Paper No. 1024
FIRN Research Paper No. 2436765
Harvard Business School Research Paper No. 16-044
What makes a CEO? 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. On average, CEOs, particularly large-company CEOs, have much higher trait values than the population and somewhat higher values than people in other high-skill professions. Yet, more than one hundred managers and executives in the corporate sector dominate each median large-company CEO. Only about one tenth of the pay premium large-firm CEOs enjoy over the population can be attributed to the labor market returns to the three traits.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 53
Keywords: CEO, cognitive ability, non-cognitive ability, height, compensation, firm size
JEL Classification: G30, J24, J31
Date posted: May 15, 2014 ; Last revised: June 26, 2016
© 2016 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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