How much are differences in managerial ability worth?

Rachel M. Hayes*, Scott Schaefer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


We identify manager/firm separations where managers quit for a new job and study abnormal returns associated with these events. Applying analyses from labor economics, we argue that the average ability of managers who resign for a similar position at another firm should be higher than that of managers who die suddenly. Controlling for age and tenure, we find that firms losing managers to other firms experience an average abnormal return of -1.51%, compared to +3.82% for firms whose managers die suddenly. We use differences in returns across groups to measure the value of differences in managerial ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-148
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Accounting and Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Executive compensation
  • Executive turnover
  • G30
  • J31
  • J41
  • Managerial ability
  • Managerial labor markets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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