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We examine how CEO divorce affects firm operating performance. To this end, we use population-level data of CEOs in Denmark over the 2000–2012 sample period. Applying a difference-in-differences research design, we study matching pairs of firms with married and divorcing CEOs. We find that CEO divorce is associated with significant underperformance—as measured by operating return on assets (OROA) and industry-adjusted OROA—but only under specific circumstances: in small firms, in high-growth industries, when children are present in the CEO household, and when the income difference between the CEO and spouse is high. Overall, in addition to social implications, we find that CEO divorce can have significant economic ramifications for firms.

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