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Firm performance and compensation structure: performance elasticities of average employee compensation

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  • Rayton, Bruce A.

Abstract

Agency costs are a cost of production, and firms that do a better job of minimizing these costs should exhibit better performance. This paper tests this hypothesis by calculating the performance elasticity of average employee hourly compensation for U.S. manufacturing firms. This elasticity indicates the degree of alignment between employee and shareholder objectives. The estimated elasticity is indistinguishable from zero in low performance firms, and it equals 0.193 in high performance firms. While it is difficult to know whether an elevated performance sensitivity causes better firm performance, clearly the best performers in manufacturing industries link average employee pay to performance.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 9 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 333-352

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Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:9:y:2003:i:3:p:333-352

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

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  1. Bruce A. Rayton & Jonathan S. Seaton, 1999. "The size of employee stakeholding in large UK corporations," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(5), pages 259-266.
  2. Bhargava, Sandeep, 1994. "Profit-Sharing and the Financial Performance of Companies: Evidence from U.K. Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1044-56, September.
  3. Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Performance Pay And Top Management Incentives," Papers 88-04, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  4. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
  5. Abowd, John M, 1989. "The Effect of Wage Bargains on the Stock Market Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 774-800, September.
  6. Douglas L. Kruse, 1993. "Profit Sharing: Does It Make a Difference?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ps.
  7. Eggertsson,Thrainn, 1990. "Economic Behavior and Institutions," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348911, October.
  8. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
  9. Coughlan, Anne T. & Schmidt, Ronald M., 1985. "Executive compensation, management turnover, and firm performance : An empirical investigation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 43-66, April.
  10. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
  11. Bruce A. Rayton, 1996. "Rent-Sharing or Incentives? Estimating the Residual Claim of Average Employees," Labor and Demography 9603002, EconWPA, revised 09 Sep 1996.
  12. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
  13. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-41, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Christine Marsal, 2006. "La cohérence dans la mobilisation du capital humain:une illustration de la théorie de l’architecture organisationnelle dans les banques de réseau," Working Papers CREGO 1060501, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
  2. Vicente Cuñat & María Guadalupe, 2005. "How Does Product Market Competition Shape Incentive Contracts?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0687, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Amit Saini & Kelly Martin, 2009. "Strategic Risk-Taking Propensity: The Role of Ethical Climate and Marketing Output Control," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 90(4), pages 593-606, December.
  4. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Seppo Honkapohja & John Kay & Willi Leibfritz & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Xavier Vives, 2004. "Pay-setting Systems in Europe: On-going Development and Possible Reforms," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 61-83, October.

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