Military CEOs

Efraim Benmelech*, Carola Frydman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

338 Scopus citations


There is mounting evidence of the influence of personal characteristics of chief executive officers (CEOs) on corporate outcomes. In this paper we analyze the relation between military service of CEOs and managerial decisions, financial policies, and corporate outcomes. Exploiting exogenous variation in the propensity to serve in the military, we show that military service is associated with conservative corporate policies and ethical behavior. Military CEOs pursue lower corporate investment, are less likely to be involved in corporate fraudulent activity, and perform better during industry downturns. Taken together, our results show that military service has significant explanatory power for managerial decisions and firm outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-59
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • CEOs
  • Corporate Governance
  • Ethics
  • Fraud
  • Military

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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