Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Give everyone a prize? Employee stock options in private venture-backed firms

Contents:

Author Info

  • Hand, John R.M.
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This study examines employee stock options in private entrepreneurial companies. I focus on private U.S. venture-backed firms because they are renowned for the intensity and organizational depth of their stock option grants. Contrary to simple stereotype, however, I show that 27% of U.S. venture-backed firms do not grant stock options to all employees. I seek to explain this by theorizing that the economic and legal settings in which venture-backed companies exist lead to both costs and benefits from the use of stock options to attract, compensate, incent, monitor, and retain certain employees, and that sometimes the costs exceed the benefits. I test the theory by determining whether variation in the organizational depth to which venture-backed firms grant employee stock options can be explained by proxies for these economic and legal costs. Such proxies include the fraction of employees who are in technical positions; the degree of flatness in the firm's organizational structure; its proximity to other venture-backed companies; the number of patents it has been granted; and the fraction of equity held by venture investors. The results support the theory and thereby imply that venture-backed firms grant employee stock options in an economically sophisticated manner.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VDH-4P2S26H-1/1/7daa4778bb204ea53816aad2a28e7cf9
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Venturing.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 385-404

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:23:y:2008:i:4:p:385-404

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusvent

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Kaplan, Steven N. & Strömberg, Per, 2003. "Characteristics, Contracts and Actions: Evidence from Venture Capitalist Analyses," SIFR Research Report Series 14, Institute for Financial Research.
    2. Mike Wright, 1998. "Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Review and Synthesis," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5&6), pages 521-570.
    3. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Yermack, David, 1997. " Good Timing: CEO Stock Option Awards and Company News Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 449-76, June.
    6. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 49-70, Summer.
    7. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2004. "Why Do Some Firms Give Stock Options to All Employees?: An Empirical Examination of Alternative Theories," NBER Working Papers 10222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," NBER Working Papers 9784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origin and Growth of Firms," NBER Working Papers 7546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Yermack, David, 1995. "Do corporations award CEO stock options effectively?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 237-269.
    11. Murphy, Kevin J., 2003. "Stock-based pay in new economy firms," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-3), pages 129-147, January.
    12. Raghuram G. Rajan & Julie Wulf, 2006. "The Flattening Firm: Evidence from Panel Data on the Changing Nature of Corporate Hierarchies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 759-773, November.
    13. Scott Shane, 2006. "Introduction to the Focused Issue on Entrepreneurship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 155-159, February.
    14. Bergman, Nittai K. & Jenter, Dirk, 2007. "Employee sentiment and stock option compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 667-712, June.
    15. Oyer, Paul, 2001. "Why Do Firms Use Incentives That Have No Incentive Effects?," Research Papers 1686, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    16. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    17. Dushnitsky, Gary & Lenox, Michael J., 2005. "When do incumbents learn from entrepreneurial ventures?: Corporate venture capital and investing firm innovation rates," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 615-639, June.
    18. Hellmann, Thomas F. & Puri, Manju, 2000. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Research Papers 1661, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    19. Chua, Jess H. & Woodward, Richard S., 1993. "Splitting the firm between the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist with the help of stock options," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 43-58, January.
    20. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
    21. Ittner, Christopher D. & Lambert, Richard A. & Larcker, David F., 2003. "The structure and performance consequences of equity grants to employees of new economy firms," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-3), pages 89-127, January.
    22. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
    23. Kenneth E. Knight, 1967. "A Descriptive Model of the Intra-Firm Innovation Process," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40, pages 478.
    24. George W. Fenn & Nellie Liang & Stephen Prowse, 1995. "The economics of the private equity market," Staff Studies 168, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    25. Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 2000. "Assessing the Contribution of Venture Capital to Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 674-692, Winter.
    26. Joseph Blasi & Michael Conte & Douglas Kruse, 1996. "Employee stock ownership and corporate performance among public companies," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 60-79, October.
    27. Core, John & Guay, Wayne, 1999. "The use of equity grants to manage optimal equity incentive levels," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 151-184, December.
    28. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
    29. Shepherd, Dean A. & Ettenson, Richard & Crouch, Andrew, 2000. "New venture strategy and profitability: A venture capitalist's assessment," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 449-467.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Marco Da Rin & Thomas F. Hellmann & Manju Puri, 2011. "A survey of venture capital research," NBER Working Papers 17523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:23:y:2008:i:4:p:385-404. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.