47 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2011 Last revised: 15 Feb 2014
Date Written: February 5, 2014
This study analyzes the relation between CEO personal risk-taking, managerial risk-taking and total firm risk. We find evidence that CEOs who possess private pilot’s licenses, our proxy for personal risk-taking, are associated with riskier firms. Firms led by CEO pilots have higher equity return volatility, even beyond the amount explained by a wealth effect related to compensation structure. We trace the source of the elevated firm risk to specific corporate policies including leverage and acquisition activity. Our results suggest that non-pecuniary risk preferences revealed outside the scope of the firm have implications for project selection and various corporate policies.
Keywords: risk preferences, mergers, acquisitions, leverage, volatility, sensation seeking
JEL Classification: G30, G32, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Cain, Matthew D. and McKeon, Stephen B., CEO Personal Risk-Taking and Corporate Policies (February 5, 2014). Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (JFQA), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1785413 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1785413