The influence of CEO demographic characteristics on corporate risk-taking: evidence from Chinese IPOs

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Colleges, School and Institutes


We investigate the influence of Chief Executive Officers’ (CEOs’) demographic characteristics (e.g. age, board experience, professional experience, education and gender) on corporate risk-taking for a sample of 892 IPOs floated in both the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges. Using fixed effects and system Generalized Method of Moments models we find that younger and shorter tenured CEOs and those with postgraduate qualifications are more likely to consider risky decisions. We also find a highly significant and positive relationship between CEO previous board experience and corporate risk-taking. Interestingly and consistent with the recent literature, we find that female CEOs are not risk averse compared with their male counterparts. Moreover, we find that corporate risk-taking is higher the greater the proportion of state ownership. Finally, our study may provide useful insights to shareholders as they generally seek to hire the most talented CEOs with the relevant set of skills to achieve shareholders’ objectives and improve the Chinese competitiveness in the global market.


Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Finance
Early online date11 Mar 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2016