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Executive Compensation, Strategic Competition, and Relative Performance Evaluation: Theory and Evidence

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  • Rajesh K. Aggarwal

    (Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College,)

  • Andrew A. Samwick

    (Department of Economics, Dartmouth College, and NBER)

Abstract

We examine compensation contracts for managers in imperfectly competitive product markets. We show that strategic interactions among firms can explain the lack of relative performance-based incentives in which compensation decreases with rival firm performance. The need to soften product market competition generates an optimal compensation contract that places a positive weight on both own and rival performance. Firms in more competitive industries place greater weight on rival firm performance relative to own firm performance. We find empirical evidence of a positive sensitivity of compensation to rival firm performance that is increasing in the degree of competition in the industry. Copyright The American Finance Association 1999.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 54 (1999)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1999-2043

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:54:y:1999:i:6:p:1999-2043

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  1. Benjamin E. Hermalin., 1991. "The Effects of Competition on Executive Behavior," Economics Working Papers 91-182, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1205, David K. Levine.
  4. Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
  5. Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 468-505, June.
  6. Katz, Michael L., 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt79b870w0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L Judd, 1984. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," Discussion Papers 642, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Steven D. Sklivas, 1987. "The Strategic Choice of Managerial Incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(3), pages 452-458, Autumn.
  9. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  10. Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1991. "Relative Performance Evaluation for Chief Executive Officers," NBER Working Papers 2944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Oliver D. Hart, 1983. "The Market Mechanism as an Incentive Scheme," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 366-382, Autumn.
  12. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-64, April.
  13. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  14. Koenker, Roger & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1982. "Robust Tests for Heteroscedasticity Based on Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 43-61, January.
  15. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 5554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. David Scharfstein, 1988. "Product-Market Competition and Managerial Slack," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 147-155, Spring.
  17. Haubrich, Joseph G, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 258-76, April.
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