Open Access Journal Article

Are Inventors Better CEOs? Evidence from China

by Qifeng Zhao a,* Qianfeng Luo b Long Wang c  and  Wenyin Chen d
Institute of Quantitative & Technological Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China
Rural Development Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,Beijing, China
China Institute for Educational Finance Research, Peking University,Beijing, China
Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization, Chiba, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
REA  2023, 6; 2(1), 6;
Received: 28 January 2023 / Accepted: 30 March 2023 / Published Online: 20 April 2023


This study investigates the impact of inventor CEOs on firm performance using a manually collected database of firms' inventors. Our findings reveal that, on average, firms with inventor CEOs experience a one- and two-percentage-point increase in ROA and ROE, respectively, compared to firms with noninventor CEOs. To address potential endogeneity issues, we employ turnover analysis, an instrumental variable approach, and propensity score matching. The estimation results suggest that inventor CEOs significantly enhance firm performance by fostering innovation and total factor productivity. This research contributes novel evidence on the relationship between inventor CEOs and firm performance.

Copyright: © 2023 by Zhao, Luo, Wang and Chen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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ACS Style
Zhao, Q.; Luo, Q.; Wang, L.; Chen, W. Are Inventors Better CEOs? Evidence from China. Review of Economic Assessment, 2023, 2, 6.
AMA Style
Zhao Q, Luo Q, Wang L, Chen W. Are Inventors Better CEOs? Evidence from China. Review of Economic Assessment; 2023, 2(1):6.
Chicago/Turabian Style
Zhao, Qifeng; Luo, Qianfeng; Wang, Long; Chen, Wenyin 2023. "Are Inventors Better CEOs? Evidence from China" Review of Economic Assessment 2, no.1:6.
APA style
Zhao, Q., Luo, Q., Wang, L., & Chen, W. (2023). Are Inventors Better CEOs? Evidence from China. Review of Economic Assessment, 2(1), 6.

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