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Self-serving attribution bias and CEO turnover: Evidence from CEO interviews on CNBC

In the Receptiviti LIWC Research Series, we highlight important research conducted using our platform and science that has implications for our customers' and partners' businesses and for society at large:

Self-serving attribution bias is a type of misattribution bias in which CEOs attribute the outperformance of the company to their own abilities, and underperformance of the company to bad luck or the economy. Using the transcripts of CEO interviews on CNBC, we find that the stock market response to the interviews of CEOs with self-referencing behavior is negative. Moreover, the CEOs with SAB are more likely to be fired and more sensitively to

performance, especially if the governance is stronger. We also find that the stock market

response to the announcement of forced turnovers of CEOs with SAB are significantly more

positive by up to 9.7% over the event window of [-1,1] days. While we find the negative tone of

the interviewing journalists increases the likelihood of forced CEO turnover and increases the

turnover-performance sensitivity, the correlation between turnover and SAB is robust.

Read the article


Kim, Y. Han (Andy), Self Attribution Bias of the CEO: Evidence from CEO Interviews on CNBC (February 7, 2013). Journal of Banking & Finance (2013) 37 (7), 2472-2489, Available at SSRN: or

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