Do Businessmen Make Good Governors?

21 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018

See all articles by Florian Neumeier

Florian Neumeier

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2018


This paper evaluates the economic performance of U.S. state governors with a business background (chief executive officer [CEO] governors). Applying a matching method, I find, first, that businesspeople tend to take office in times of economic and fiscal strain. Second, the tenures of CEO governors are associated with a 0.5 percentage points (pp.) higher annual income growth rate, a 0.4 pp. higher growth rate of the private capital stock, and a 0.6 pp. lower unemployment rate than are the tenures of non‐CEO governors. State‐level income inequality is not affected by CEO governors holding office, indicating that low‐income households benefit from the economic upswing.

JEL Classification: C21, E24, O47

Suggested Citation

Neumeier, Florian, Do Businessmen Make Good Governors? (October 2018). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 56, Issue 4, pp. 2116-2136, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Florian Neumeier (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

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Munich, 01069

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