Working Paper No. 1326

CEO Health and Corporate Governance

Published: March 25, 2020, revised April 2020Pages: 65Keywords: CEOs; Corporate Governance; Executives; Mental Health; Physical HealthJEL-codes: G34; I12; J24; J31

CEO Health and Corporate Governance Matti Keloharju, Samuli Knüpfer and Joacim Tåg

Boards hire and fire CEOs based on imperfect information. Using comprehensive data on 28 cohorts in Sweden, we analyze the role of a potentially important attribute—CEO health—in corporate governance. Boards hire CEOs who are healthier than other high-skill professionals, in particular in mental health. After hiring, CEOs’ health develops similarly to a control group of executives. Health predicts turnover, measured at appointment and during tenure. These results are consistent with boards appointing CEOs with health robust enough to withstand the pressures of the job, correcting mismatches occurring at the time of appointment, and responding expediently to health shocks.


Keloharju, Matti, Samuli Knüpfer and Joacim Tåg (2020), "CEO Health and Corporate Governance". IFN Working Paper No. 1326. Stockholm: Research Institute of Industrial Economics.​

Joacim Tåg


Ph: +46 8 665 4524

Matti Keloharju


Ph: +358 40 353 8043

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book


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