COVID-19 and the Value of CEOs
32 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2020 Last revised: 6 Jul 2021
Date Written: July 2021
In a sample of almost 3,000 firms from across 137 regions in 10 European countries, we investigate whether markets anticipate the potential loss of firm value in the event of a CEO falling sick and eventually dying of COVID-19. We use soccer games as “superspreader” events to instrument the regional number of infected cases per capita. Our results show that markets discount the vulnerability of older CEOs to virus spread. We interpret this as evidence of the value of CEOs in a major crisis.
Keywords: COVID-19, CEO value, soccer, stock returns, superspreader, market efficiency
JEL Classification: G01, G12, G14, M12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation