Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Myung Seok Park

Second Advisor

Benson Wier

Third Advisor

David Harless

Fourth Advisor

Jean Zhang


This study investigates how CEO managerial ability affects investment quality, investment efficiency, and the value of cash. Specifically, I examine whether higher managerial ability is associated with higher M&A quality, more efficient capital investments, and higher value of cash. Investment decision-making and implementation can signal a CEO’s managerial ability (Stein 2003), and shareholders assign more value to the cash of those firms with high ability CEOs. Thus, I predict that more able CEOs conduct higher quality M&A and make more efficient capital investment decisions. I also propose that the value of cash is higher for firms with more able CEOs. Using the methodology developed in Demerjian et al. (2012) to estimate CEO managerial ability, I find that the M&As conducted by more able CEOs are less likely to experience goodwill impairment and divestitures in the post-acquisition period. I also find that managerial ability, to a certain extent, can improve capital investment efficiency when firms have a higher likelihood of over- or under-investment. Furthermore, I provide evidence that cash has higher value if it is managed by more able CEOs. Overall, my findings suggest that while managerial ability plays a limited role in improving M&A quality, it significantly increases capital investment efficiency and the value of cash.


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