The Interrelationship of CEO Nationality with Financial Management, Firm Performance, and CEO Compensation
The Journal of Diversity Management, Vol. 2, No, 2, pp. 7-23, 2nd Quarter 2007
19 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2009 Last revised: 10 May 2011
Date Written: 2007
In this exploratory research, and driven by intense interest in media focused attention on the apparently wide differential in pay contrast between US top managers in large corporations versus their non-US top managers, we examined the backgrounds of the highest paid Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in the United States. Specifically, we investigated the extent to which national origin, which we used as a proxy for cultural background, of CEOs affected salaries received, the way firms were managed and how firms performed. The data for the study was derived from the Forbes 800 CEO compensation data. The data extended from 1991-1997 and included 4,834 observations. Regressions were run to determine the extent to which the birthplace of the CEO affected the salary that the CEO received, along with the capital structure, dividend policy and return on assets of the firm. The results indicated that CEOs with differing nationalities were compensated differently, and operated their firms differently than U.S. born CEOs. The compensation of the CEOs was found to be higher for some groups of foreign born CEOs. Some evidence of differing capital structures was found. However, the results were not significant after incorporating the full set of control variables into the regressions. CEOs from Central and South America paid out larger percentages of firm earnings to owners in the form of dividends than other CEOs. Finally, the study found some evidence to suggest that Central and South America born CEOs, and Australian and New Zealand born CEOs earned a higher return on assets than other CEOs.
Keywords: CEO Compensation, CEO Performance, Executive Compensation
JEL Classification: J33, M52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation