Married CEOs and Corporate Social Responsibility
47 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2017 Last revised: 29 May 2019
Date Written: May 6, 2019
Studies in social sciences suggest that a normative commitment to stable, biological married life is a potent catalyst for inculcating and nourishing prosocial values, preferences and behaviors among family members. Extrapolating from this literature, we investigate whether firms led by married chief executive officers (CEOs) are associated with better corporate social responsibility (CSR). Our analysis of 2,163 U.S. public corporations from 1993 to 2008 shows that firms led by married CEOs are associated with significantly higher scores on a popular CSR index, after controlling for a wide range of firm characteristics and CEO attributes. Further, the observed positive relation is particularly sharper with the diversity and employee relations components of CSR. Our findings highlight CEO marital status as an important driver of socially responsible corporate decision making.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Marriage, CEO, Risk Propensity, Incentives
JEL Classification: O3, G1, G3, D8
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