East, West, Home’s Best: Do Local CEOs Behave Less Myopically?
The Accounting Review, Forthcoming
61 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017 Last revised: 7 May 2019
Date Written: October 3, 2017
We test whether CEOs working near their childhood homes (i.e., local CEOs) are less likely than nonlocal CEOs to make myopic investment decisions. Place attachment theories suggest that people develop mutual caretaking relationships with their birthplaces. In addition, executive labor markets face less information asymmetry about local CEOs, resulting lower pressure on local CEOs for quick profits. Consistent with the prediction, we find that local CEOs are less likely to cut R&D expenditures for beating analyst forecasts or avoiding earnings decreases. These results are corroborated by the finding that in their last year of office local CEOs are significantly less likely to cut R&D than nonlocal CEOs. The CEO locality effect is stronger when more local business interests are embedded in the firm, i.e., when the firm’s business is more concentrated in the CEO’s birth state and the residents of the CEO’s birth state have a higher inclination to invest in local firms. The effect is also more significant when the residents of the CEO’s birth state have stronger local social bond, i.e., when the state has lower population mobility and more social capital. Local CEOs’ longer horizons are consistently manifested in their other decisions such as paying more state tax and being more socially responsible in business operation.
Keywords: Local CEO, Corporate Myopia, Short-Termism
JEL Classification: G00, G30, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation