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ESO compensation: The roles of default risk, employee sentiment, and insider information

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  • Chang, Charles
  • Fuh, Cheng-Der
  • Hsu, Ya-Hui
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    Abstract

    This paper derives a pricing model for employee stock options (ESO) that includes default risk and considers employee sentiment. Using ESO data from 1992 to 2004, the study finds that the average executive's subjective value is about 55% of the Black-Scholes value. Only employees who over-estimate firm returns (or insiders who know that the firm is under-valued) by about 10% per annum will prefer ESOs over cash compensation. Our model also shows that work incentives offered by ESOs may be far lower than those implied by Black-Scholes but that ESOs may induce less risk-taking behavior, contrary to typical moral hazard arguments. Findings may impact relevant accounting regulations as well as compensation decisions.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VFK-4T8SKYT-1/2/e2ea45847a1cabcef14810f171fcdf73
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 (December)
    Pages: 630-641

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:14:y:2008:i:5:p:630-641

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

    Related research

    Keywords: Stock options Sentiment Default model Jump diffusion Insider information;

    References

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    1. William N. Goetzmann & Alok Kumar, 2005. "Why Do Individual Investors Hold Under-Diversified Portfolios?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm454, Yale School of Management.
    2. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 653-691, August.
    3. Bergman, Nittai K. & Jenter, Dirk, 2007. "Employee sentiment and stock option compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 667-712, June.
    4. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
    5. Nohel, Tom & Todd, Steven, 2005. "Compensation for managers with career concerns: the role of stock options in optimal contracts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 229-251, March.
    6. Huddart, Steven & Lang, Mark, 1996. "Employee stock option exercises an empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 5-43, February.
    7. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A. & Rubinstein, Mark, 1979. "Option pricing: A simplified approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 229-263, September.
    8. Menachem Brenner, 2001. "The Price of Options Illiquidity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 789-805, 04.
    9. Gregory R. Duffee, 1996. "Estimating the price of default risk," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Hall, Brian J. & Murphy, Kevin J., 2002. "Stock options for undiversified executives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-42, February.
    11. Ryan, Harley Jr. & Wiggins, Roy III, 2001. "The influence of firm- and manager-specific characteristics on the structure of executive compensation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 101-123, June.
    12. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    13. Holland, Larry C. & Elder, Erick M., 2006. "Employee stock options in compensation agreements: A financing explanation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 367-379, January.
    14. Pukthuanthong, Kuntara & Roll, Richard & Walker, Thomas, 2007. "How employee stock options and executive equity ownership affect long-term IPO operating performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 695-720, December.
    15. Hull, John & White, Alan, 1995. "The impact of default risk on the prices of options and other derivative securities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 299-322, May.
    16. Huddart, Steven, 1994. "Employee stock options," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 207-231, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Tang, Chun-Hua, 2012. "Revisiting the incentive effects of executive stock options," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 564-574.
    2. Carmona, Julio & León, Angel & Vaello-Sebastià, Antoni, 2011. "Pricing executive stock options under employment shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 97-114, January.

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