2018

Are CEOs Born Leaders? Lessons from Traits of a Million Individuals

Reprint No. 2018:64

Author(s): Renée Adams, Matti Keloharju and Samuli KnüpferYear: 2018 Title: Journal of Financial Economics Volume (No.): 130 (2) Pages: 392–408
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version


What makes a successful CEO? We combine a near-exhaustive sample of male CEOs from Swedish companies with data on their cognitive and noncognitive ability and height at age 18. CEOs differ from other high-skill professions most in noncognitive ability. The median large-company CEO belongs to the top 5% of the population in the combination of the three traits. The traits have a monotonic and close to linear relation with CEO pay, but their correlations with pay, firm size, and CEO fixed effects in firm policies are relatively low. Traits appear necessary but not sufficient for making it to the top.


Reference:
Adams, Renée, Matti Keloharju and Samuli Knüpfer (2018), "Are CEOs Born Leaders? Lessons from Traits of a Million Individuals". Journal of Financial Economics 130(2), 392–408.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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