Wharton Professor Nikolai Roussanov and Temple Professor Pavel Savor have written a new paper titled “Status, Marriage and Managers’ Attitudes to Risk.” They examined the question: Do unmarried CEOs take more risk in their business decisions than married CEOs? Here's an excerpt from Knowledge@Wharton, in which Roussanov describes the findings from this research:
We looked at … the risk-taking decisions of CEOs of public companies in the U.S. We collected data [about the] marital status of CEOs of the 1,500 largest public companies and looked at the differences in behavior of these firms — of the firms that were led by CEOs who were single and those who were married... What we found was that firms led by single CEOs engaged in much more aggressive investment behavior, along the lines of capital expenditures, as well as innovation activity, research and development, and acquisitions to some extent, than companies led by CEOs who were married. These differences translated also into greater riskiness of the firms led by single CEOs as measured by the stock return volatility.
The findings are rather interesting, and the scholars intend to extend this research in the future. What's the next stream of research for them? Roussanov reports that he would like to examine how marital status affects the decisions of money managers. We look forward to seeing those findings.