NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Luo Zuo

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Working Papers

November 2011Shaped by Booms and Busts: How the Economy Impacts CEO Careers and Management Styles
with Antoinette Schoar: w17590
Economic conditions when CEOs enter the labor market have a lasting impact on their career paths and managerial styles. CEOs who start their careers in recessions take less time to become CEOs, but lead smaller firms once they do. Recession CEOs also display more conservative styles: less investment in capex and R&D, more cost cutting, lower leverage and working capital needs, less aggressive tax avoidance, and lower stock return volatility. These career effects appear to be driven by distortions in the initial job allocation during recession times, and suggest that the early work environment is an important factor in the formation of managers.

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