CEO Stress, Aging, and Death

87 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2020

See all articles by Mark Borgschulte

Mark Borgschulte

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Marius Guenzel

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Canyao Liu

Yale University

Ulrike Malmendier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: June 1, 2020

Abstract

We show that increased job demands due to takeover threats and industry crises have significant adverse consequences for managers' long-term health. Using hand-collected data on the dates of birth and death for more than 1,600 CEOs of large, publicly listed U.S. firms, we estimate that CEOs' lifespan increases by around two years when insulated from market discipline via anti-takeover laws. CEOs also stay on the job longer, with no evidence of a compensating differential in the form of lower pay. In a second analysis, we find diminished longevity arising from increases in job demands caused by industry-wide downturns during a CEO's tenure. Finally, we utilize machine-learning age-estimation methods to detect visible signs of aging in pictures of CEOs. We estimate that exposure to a distress shock during the Great Recession increases CEOs' apparent age by roughly one year over the next decade.

Suggested Citation

Borgschulte, Mark and Guenzel, Marius and Liu, Canyao and Malmendier, Ulrike, CEO Stress, Aging, and Death (June 1, 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14933, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3638037

Mark Borgschulte (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Marius Guenzel

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Canyao Liu

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Ulrike Malmendier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
(510) 642-8724 (Phone)
(510) 642-6615 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~ulrike/

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=918

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