Emerging Tech

Are Overconfident CEOs Better Innovators?

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Executive Summary

Using options- and press-based proxies for CEO overconfidence (Malmendier and Tate 2005a, 2005b, 2008), the authors find that over the 1993-2003 period, firms with overconfident CEOs have greater return volatility, invest more in innovation, obtain more patents and patent citations, and achieve greater innovative success for any given Research and Development (R&D) expenditure. Overconfident managers only achieve greater innovation than non-overconfident managers in innovative industries. Overconfidence is not associated with lower sales, ROA, or Q.

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