Does Degree Earned Matter? An Empirical Analysis Of CEOs From Large Firms

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Terrance Jalbert
Mercedes Jalbert
Gino Perrina

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Abstract

In this paper the educational backgrounds of the Highest Paid Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in the United States are examined.  Specifically, the extent to which the specific degree earned affects the salary received and other variables are examined.  The data for the study is the Forbes 800 CEO compensation data.  The time period for this study is the thirteen years from 1987-1999.  The results indicate that the total compensation that individuals earn as the CEO of the firm depends upon the undergraduate and graduate degree that the individual earns. Those with differing degrees are found to have been with the firm for a differing number of years, earned their undergraduate and graduate degrees at different ages, started working for the firm at different ages, became the CEO at differing ages, and were with the firm for differing number of years prior to becoming the CEO.

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