CEO Personal Risk-Taking and Corporate Policies

Matthew D. Cain, Stephen B. McKeon
2012 Social Science Research Network  
This study analyzes the relation between chief executive officer (CEO) personal risktaking, corporate risk-taking, and total firm risk. We find evidence that CEOs who possess private pilot licenses (our proxy for personal risk-taking) are associated with riskier firms. Firms led by pilot CEOs have higher equity return volatility, beyond the amount explained by compensation components that financially reward risk-taking. We trace the source of the elevated firm risk to specific corporate
more » ... c corporate policies, including leverage and acquisition activity. Our results suggest that nonpecuniary risk preferences revealed outside the scope of the firm have implications for project selection and various corporate policies.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1785413 fatcat:xujr4vz6jffqlbtrlojfxtmfza