56 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2018 Last revised: 11 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 5, 2018
One-in-five U.S. high-technology firms are led by CEOs with hands-on innovation experience as inventors. Firms led by “Inventor CEOs” are associated with higher quality innovation, especially when the CEO is a high-impact inventor. During an Inventor CEO’s tenure, firms file a greater number of patents and more valuable patents in technology-classes where the CEO’s hands-on experience lies. Utilizing plausibly exogenous CEO turnovers to address the matching of CEOs to firms suggests these effects are causal. The results can be explained by an Inventor CEO’s superior ability to evaluate, select and execute innovative investment projects related to their own hands-on experience.
Keywords: Inventor CEOs, CEO Style, Innovation, Human Capital
JEL Classification: G32, G34, J24, O31, O32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation