CEO demographic characteristics and firm performance: an empirical study in the scientific research and technology development industry

Journal of International Economics and Management

  • Melissa Jardine University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • Duong Thi Thanh Thuy Foreign Trade University, Hanoi, Vietnam


The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of the chief executive officer (CEO) demographic characteristics including CEO age, CEO gender, and CEO education on the performance of firms in the scientific research and technology development (SRTD) industry context. The cross-sectional data employed are collected from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam’s survey on corporations in 2017 with 3 samples, which include SRTD firms, certified SRTDs as CSRTD firms, and the SRTD industry as a whole. The least-squares analysis, robust regressions, statistical parametric and non-parametric tests are conducted to analyze the data. Firstly, it is found that the association between CEO age and firm performance is different between SRTD firms and CSRTD firms and statistically non-significant to the SRTD industry as a whole. Secondly, female CEOs of SRTD firms operate their businesses better than their male counterparts while the opposite is witnessed in CSRTD firms. For the whole SRTD industry, male CEOs outperform. Thirdly, for SRTD firms, the higher education of CEOs does not ensure higher performance. Nonetheless, CEOs with master’s degrees do have better performance than CEOs with bachelor’s degrees. These results are consistent in all estimation models being employed. The study is the first to examine factors affecting the performance of firms in the SRTD industry.

Keywords: CEO age, CEO gender, CEO educational background, Firm performance, Technology-based firms