Hear Me Write: Does CEO Narcissism Affect Disclosure?

  • Gilberto Marquez-Illescas
  • Allan A. ZebedeeEmail author
  • Linying Zhou
Original Paper


Through earnings announcements, conference calls, and other press releases, corporate executives have an opportunity to frame the narrative of financial disclosures. Numerous studies have shown that textual tone significantly influences stock returns, suggesting that through word choice, upper management may impact market reaction. In this study, we examine the influence of CEO personality traits on corporate disclosures by analyzing the tone of earnings announcements for a sample of Fortune 500 CEOs over nearly two decades. Our hypotheses are twofold: (1) that qualitative disclosures in firms with narcissistic leaders will be biased upward and (2) the bias will moderate as CEOs becomes older. Our empirical results support these hypotheses and suggest that more narcissistic CEOs tend to reinforce their grandiose self-image by issuing more positive earnings announcements but this desire wanes with CEO age. We also find that the stock market response to the tone of the earnings announcement is less pronounced for more narcissistic CEOs, suggesting the market takes into account the bias in narcissistic CEO announcements.


CEO CEO age Earnings announcements Narcissism Textual analysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Gilberto Marquez-Illescas, Allan A. Zebedee, and Linying Zhou declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilberto Marquez-Illescas
    • 4
  • Allan A. Zebedee
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Linying Zhou
    • 3
  1. 1.The David D. Reh School of BusinessClarkson UniversityPotsdamUSA
  2. 2.Center for Economics, Finance and Management StudiesHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  3. 3.College of Business AdministrationCalifornia State University – San MarcosSan MarcosUSA
  4. 4.College of Business AdministrationUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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