DP16280 The Demand for Executive Skills

Author(s): Joseph Fuller, Stephen Hansen, Tejas Ramdas, Raffaella Sadun
Publication Date: June 2021
Date Revised: June 2021
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Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Organizational Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16280

We use a unique corpus of job descriptions for C-suite positions to document skills requirements in top managerial occupations across a large sample of firms. A novel algorithm maps the text of each executive search into six separate skill clusters reflecting cognitive, interpersonal, and operational dimensions. The data show an increasing relevance of social skills in top managerial occupations, and a greater emphasis on social skills in larger and more information intensive organizations. The results suggest the need for training, search and governance mechanisms able to facilitate the match between firms and top executives along multiple and imperfectly observable skills.