The Voice of Risk: Wall Street CEOs’ Vocal Masculinity and the 2008 Financial Crisis

53 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2019 Last revised: 9 Aug 2021

See all articles by Min Jung Kang

Min Jung Kang

University of Michigan at Flint - School of Management

Y. Han (Andy) Kim

Sungkyunkwan University

Soohyun Park

Sungkyunkwan University, School of Business Administration, Students

Date Written: January 10, 2020

Abstract

Did the masculinity-driven corporate culture of Wall Street change after the 2008 global financial crisis? According to the neuroendocrinology literature, the voice pitch of a male is an ‘honest signal’ of his testosterone level that affects risk taking for social dominance. We use digitally analyzed voice pitch of 167 Wall Street male CEO interviews on CNBC during the 2008 financial crisis and find a negative association between the voice pitch of the CEO and the risk of the firm. Additionally, deep-voiced male CEOs were more likely to be fired after the crisis.

Keywords: culture, masculinity, voice pitch, financial crisis, CEO turnover, TARP, overconfidence, self-attribution bias, testosterone, media

JEL Classification: G01, G02, G20, G39

Suggested Citation

Kang, Min Jung and Kim, Y. Han (Andy) and Park, Soohyun, The Voice of Risk: Wall Street CEOs’ Vocal Masculinity and the 2008 Financial Crisis (January 10, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3489589 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3489589

Min Jung Kang

University of Michigan at Flint - School of Management ( email )

303 E. Kearsley Street
Flint, MI 48502
United States

Y. Han (Andy) Kim (Contact Author)

Sungkyunkwan University ( email )

422 School of Business
25-2 SungKyunKwan-Ro, Jongno-ju
Seoul, 110-745
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)
+82-2-760-0622 (Phone)
+82-2-760-0622 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/andyyhankim/

Soohyun Park

Sungkyunkwan University, School of Business Administration, Students ( email )

206 International Hall
Seoul 110-745
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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