Does CEO cultural heritage affect performance under competitive pressure?

Duc Duy Nguyen, Jens Hagendorff, Arman Eshraghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We exploit variation in cultural heritage across CEOs who are children and grandchildren of immigrants to demonstrate that the cultural origins of CEOs matter for corporate outcomes. Following shocks to industry competition, firms led by CEOs who are second- or third-generation immigrants are associated with a 6.2% higher profitability than the average firm. This effect weakens over successive immigrant generations, is not detected for top executives other than the CEO, and can be explained by specific cultural values that prevail in the CEO’s country of origin. Our paper offers novel insights on the interactions between informal institutions and corporate outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-141
JournalThe Review of Financial Studies
Issue number1
Early online date19 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • CEOs
  • cultural values
  • competition
  • performance
  • corporate investments


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