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The Option To Quit: The Effect Of Employee Stock Options On Turnover

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  • Serdar Aldatmaz
  • Paige Ouimet
  • Edward D Van Wesep
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    Abstract

    We show that in the years following a large broad-based employee stock option (BBSO) grant, employee turnover falls at the granting firm. We find evidence consistent with a causal relation by exploiting unexpected changes in the value of unvested options. A large fraction of the reduction in turnover appears to be temporary with turnover increasing in the 3rd year following the year of the adoption of the BBSO plan. We also find that the effect of BBSO plans is larger at market leaders, identified as firms with high industry-adjusted market-to-book ratios, market share or industry-adjusted profit margins, as measured at the time of the grant.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2014/CES-WP-14-06.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 14-06.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:14-06

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    Keywords: Employee stock options; turnover;

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    1. Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Discussion Papers 471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. Guy David & Tanguy Brachet, 2011. "On the Determinants of Organizational Forgetting," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 100-123, August.
    3. 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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    7. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2004. "Why Do Some Firms Give Stock Options To All Employees?: An Empirical Examination of Alternative Theories," Research Papers 1772r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    8. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    9. Yael V. Hochberg & Laura Lindsey, 2010. "Incentives, Targeting, and Firm Performance: An Analysis of Non-executive Stock Options," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(11), pages 4148-4186, November.
    10. 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.
    11. Kedia, Simi & Rajgopal, Shiva, 2009. "Neighborhood matters: The impact of location on broad based stock option plans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 109-127, April.
    12. John Abowd & Bryce Stephens & Lars Vilhuber, 2006. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2006-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Core, John E. & Guay, Wayne R., 2001. "Stock option plans for non-executive employees," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 253-287, August.
    14. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    15. Carter, Mary Ellen & Lynch, Luann J., 2004. "The effect of stock option repricing on employee turnover," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 91-112, February.
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