Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/175035
Authors: 
Betzer, André
Ibel, Maximilian
Lee, Hye Seung
Limbach, Peter
Salas, Jesus M.
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
Schumpeter Discussion Papers 2016-009
Abstract: 
This study documents a positive, economically meaningful impact of executives' general managerial skills on shareholder value. Examining 171 sudden executive deaths over thirty years, we find that a one-standard-deviation increase in the general ability index corresponds to at least a 1.5 percentage point decrease in abnormal stock returns to death announcements. Generalists are found to be significantly more valuable for firms with fewer growth prospects where difficult tasks (e.g., restructurings) need to be performed and adaptations to changing business environments become necessary. Our results provide a market-based explanation for the documented generalist hiring premium and the increasing share of generalists.
Subjects: 
executive heterogeneity
managerial work experience
firm value
JEL: 
G30
G34
J24
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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