Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Are CEOs More Likely to Be First-Borns?

39 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2017  

Claudia Custodio

Imperial College London; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Stephan Siegel

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Date Written: August 30, 2017

Abstract

We investigate the link between birth order and the career outcome of becoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a company. We find that CEOs are more likely to be the first-born, i.e., oldest, child of their family. This result holds for family firms, where traditionally the oldest child is appointed to run the family business, but also for non-family firms. We also find that CEOs are significantly less likely to have older brothers (relative to younger brothers) than older sisters (relative to younger sisters). The advantage of being first-born seems to decay over time, consistent with changing family structures and rearing practices as well as changing social norms.

Keywords: CEO, first born, birth order, family firm, rearing environment, upbringing

Suggested Citation

Custodio, Claudia and Siegel, Stephan, Are CEOs More Likely to Be First-Borns? (August 30, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3029896

Claudia Custodio

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Stephan Siegel (Contact Author)

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353200
Seattle, WA 98195-3200
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.washington.edu/ss1110/

Paper statistics

Downloads
123
Rank
197,852
Abstract Views
431