Executive Mobility in the United States, 1920 to 2011
71 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2021 Last revised: 5 Apr 2021
Date Written: December 23, 2020
We examine the evolution of executive mobility from 1920-2011. In the decades leading up to 1999, CEO and CFO mobility increased. Starting in the early-2000s, in contrast, executive mobility declined sharply. We develop a new measure of aggregate executive mobility that nests both turnover and across-firm mobility. We use this measure to document that the benefits of reallocating executives, labor market size, compensation, and general managerial skills help explain executive mobility trends. We also show that following an increase in mobility, firms shift CEO pay towards option grants, consistent with a retention effect of option pay for executives.
Keywords: Executive mobility, Reallocation, Executive labor markets, Corporate governance trends, CEO compensation
JEL Classification: G30, J41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation