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Stock Options and Managerial Optimal Contracts

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In this paper we are concerned with the performance of stock option contracts in the provision of managerial incentives. In our simple framework, we restrict the space of contracts available to the principal to those conformed by a fixed payment and a package of call options on the firm's stock. We then offer a characterization of optimal stock option compensation schemes. As compared to the fixed payment and the option grant, we find that the strike price plays an intermediate role in the provision of insurance and incentives. We also develop some efficient algorithms for the computation of optimal contracts in which the observable outcome is drawn from a continuous distribution. These algorithms are useful to address some important issues such as the calibration of a principal-agent model, the degree of risk aversion compatible with current compensation schemes, and the performance of stock option contracts.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University in its series Working Papers with number 2133304.

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Handle: RePEc:asu:wpaper:2133304

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  1. 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.
  2. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1987. "Competition for Agency Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 296-307, Summer.
  3. 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.
  4. Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas F. Cooley, . "Sensitivity of CEO Pay to Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," GSIA Working Papers 2002-E13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  5. Page, Frank Jr., 1987. "The existence of optimal contracts in the principal-agent model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 157-167, April.
  6. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 169-82, January.
  7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
  8. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  9. Santos, Manuel S., 1999. "Numerical solution of dynamic economic models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 311-386 Elsevier.
  10. Christopher Phelan & Robert M Townsend, 2010. "Computing Multi-Period, Information Constrained Optima," Levine's Working Paper Archive 117, David K. Levine.
  11. Haubrich, Joseph G, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 258-76, April.
  12. Edward S. Prescott, 1999. "A primer on moral-hazard models," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 47-78.
  13. Bengt Holmstrom & I. Ricard & Joan Costa, 1984. "Managerial Incentives and Capital Management," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 729, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 468-505, June.
  15. Joseph G. Haubrich & Ivilina Popova, 1994. "Executive compensation: a calibration approach," Working Paper 9416, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  16. Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 1996. "Impetuous Youngsters and Jaded Old-Timers: Acquiring a Reputation for Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1105-34, December.
  17. Edward S. Prescott, 1998. "Computing moral-hazard problems using the Dantzig-Wolfe decomposition algorithm," Working Paper 98-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  18. Guillermo Caruana & Marco Celentani, 2001. "Career Concerns And Contingent Compensation," Economics Working Papers we014811, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  19. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1997. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," NBER Working Papers 6213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Wang, Cheng, 1997. "Incentives, CEO Compensation, and Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 72-105, September.
  21. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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Cited by:
  1. Calcagno, R. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2004. "Capital Structure and Managerial Compensation: The Effects of Remuneration Seniority," Discussion Paper 2004-015, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  2. Christopher Armstrong & David Larcker & Che-Lin Su, 2007. "Stock Options and Chief Executive Compensation," Discussion Papers 1447, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Oscar Mitnik & Qiang Kang, 2008. "Not So Lucky Any More: CEO Compensation in Financially Distressed Firms," Working Papers 0906, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  4. Charles Goodhart & Pojanart Sunirand & Dimitrios P. Tsomocos, 2004. "A time series analysis of financial fragility in the UK banking system," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24778, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas Cooley & Chen Wang, 2004. "Stock Grants as a Committment Device," Working Papers 04-24, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  6. Arantxa Jarque, 2008. "Optimal CEO compensation and stock options," Working Papers. Serie EC 2008-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  7. Pirjetä, Antti & Ikäheimo, Seppo & Puttonen, Vesa, 2010. "Market pricing of executive stock options and implied risk preferences," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 394-412, June.
  8. Scott Fung & Hoje Jo & Shih-Chuan Tsai, 2009. "Agency problems in stock market-driven acquisitions," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 8(4), pages 388 - 430, November.
  9. Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas F. Cooley & Cheng Wang, . "Stock Grants as Commitment Device," GSIA Working Papers 2002-E12, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.

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