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Increases in Executive Pay Following Privatization

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  • Catherine D. Wolfram
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    Abstract

    The average chief executive at one of Britain's twelve regional electricity distribution companies experienced nearly a threefold salary increase in the two years following the industry privatization in 1990. It is hard to account for the tremendous pay raises with conventional explanations for executive compensation rates. They are not attributable to increases in managerial talent, because privatization brought virtually no changes in personnel at the top rank. In addition, the salary increases did not coincide with dramatic changes in firm scale, and cross-firm differences in the raises are uncorrelated with stock-market returns and other measures of firm performance. By contrast, salary increases are highly correlated with firms' potential profits (as measured by the administratively assigned price cap). The findings presented here thus provide new perspectives on the determinants of executive compensation. Copyright (c) 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

    Volume (Year): 7 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 3 (09)
    Pages: 327-361

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:7:y:1998:i:3:p:327-361

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    Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/journals/JEMS/

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    Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1058-6407&site=1

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    Cited by:
    1. Tran Thi, Que Giang, 2008. "The Impacts of Corporate Governance On the Performance of Privatized Firms In Vietnam," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/3860, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. Lea, Stephen E.G. & Webley, Paul, 2005. "In search of the economic self," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 585-604, October.
    3. Natalia Pimenta Monteiro, 2010. "Using propensity matching estimators to evaluate the impact of privatization on wages," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(10), pages 1293-1313.
    4. Natália Pimenta Monteiro, 2004. "The impact of Privatisation on Wages: Evidence from the Portuguese Banking Industry," NIPE Working Papers 11/2004, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    5. Nancy L. Rose & Catherine Wolfram, 2000. "Regulating Executive Pay: Using the Tax Code to Influence CEO Compensation," NBER Working Papers 7842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Debande, Olivier & Friebel, Guido, 2004. "A positive theory of give-away privatization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1309-1325, November.
    7. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.

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