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Optimal exercise of executive stock options and implications for firm cost

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  • Carpenter, Jennifer N.
  • Stanton, Richard
  • Wallace, Nancy

Abstract

This paper conducts a comprehensive study of the optimal exercise policy for an executive stock option and its implications for option cost, average life, and alternative valuation concepts. The paper is the first to provide analytical results for an executive with general concave utility. Wealthier or less risk-averse executives exercise later and create greater option cost. However, option cost can decline with volatility. We show when there exists a single exercise boundary, yet demonstrate the possibility of a split continuation region. We also show that, for constant relative risk averse utility, the option value does not converge to the Black and Scholes value as the correlation between the stock and the market portfolio converges to one. We compare our model's option cost with the modified Black and Scholes approximation typically used in practice and show that the approximation error can be large or small, positive or negative, depending on firm characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 98 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 315-337

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:98:y:2010:i:2:p:315-337

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

Related research

Keywords: Executive stock option Option value Option life Exercise policy Dynamic trading;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Carola Frydman & Dirk Jenter, 2010. "CEO Compensation," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 75-102, December.
  2. Abudy, Menachem & Benninga, Simon, 2013. "Non-marketability and the value of employee stock options," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5500-5510.
  3. Jackwerth, Jens Carsten & Hodder, James E., 2008. "Managerial Responses to Incentives: Control of Firm Risk, Derivative Pricing Implications, and Outside Wealth Management," MPRA Paper 11643, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Bahaji, Hamza, 2012. "Cumulative Prospect Theory, employee exercise behaviour and stock options cost assessment," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/9550, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Hirshleifer, David & Low, Angie & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2010. "Are Overconfident CEOs Better Innovators?," MPRA Paper 22425, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Hui Chen & Jianjun Miao & Neng Wang, 2009. "Entrepreneurial Finance and Non-diversifiable Risk," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-180, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  7. Bahaji, Hamza, 2014. "Are Employee Stock Option Exercise Decisions Better Explained through the Prospect Theory?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13098, Paris Dauphine University.
  8. Hamza Bahaji, 2009. "Contribution à l'analyse des déterminants du comportement d'exercice des porteurs de stock options : une étude empirique sur le marché Américain," Working Papers halshs-00512840, HAL.

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