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Stock options for undiversified executives

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  • Hall, Brian J.
  • Murphy, Kevin J.

Abstract

We employ a certainty-equivalence framework to analyze the cost and value of, and pay/performance incentives provided by, non-tradable options held by undiversified, risk-averse executives. We derive Executive Value' lines, the risk-adjusted analogues to Black-Scholes lines, and distinguish between executive value' and company cost.' We demonstrate that the divergence between the value and cost of options explains, or provides insight into, virtually every major issue regarding stock option practice including: executive views about Black-Scholes measures of options; tradeoffs between options, stock and cash; exercise price policies; connections between the pay-setting process and exercise price policies; institutional investor views regarding options and restricted stock; option repricings; early exercise policies and decisions; and the length of vesting periods. It also leads to reinterpretations of both cross-sectional facts and longitudinal trends in the level of executive compensation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Accounting and Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 3-42

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:33:y:2002:i:1:p:3-42

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References

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  1. Rajesh Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Do CEOs Set Their Own Pay? The Ones Without Principals Do," NBER Working Papers 7604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
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  10. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
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  16. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 653-691, August.
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  27. repec:fth:prinin:431 is not listed on IDEAS
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