CEOs could be determined by birth date

HRM 30 Nov 2012

People born in March and April are more likely to achieve CEO positions, according to a recent Canadian study.

Conducted by a team at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, the study involved a sample of 375 CEOs between 1992 and 2009.

The findings, which will appear in December’s Economics Letters, show that people born in March and April represented 12.53% and 10.67% of the sample. In comparison, only 6.13% and 5.87% of the CEOs were born in June and July respectively.

This in turn shows that, in the Northern hemisphere at least, “summer” babies are less likely to become CEOs due to a “birth-date effect”, study co-author Professor Maurice Levi told media.

In the Northern hemisphere, cut-off dates for school admission tend to fall between September and January, and children born close to the cut-off dates often start school slightly earlier or slightly later, Levi explained. This means that students born between June and July are the youngest in their class, while those born in March and April are the oldest.

“With advantages on intellectual development, older children in the same grade tend to perform better than the youngers,” he continued. “And early success is often rewarded with leadership and learning opportunities, leading to future advantages that are magnified throughout life.”

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