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What Explains the Rise in CEO Pay in Germany? A Panel Data Analysis for 1977-2009

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  • Francesca Fabbri
  • Dalia Marin

Abstract

The compensation of executive board members in Germany has become a highly controversial topic since Vodafone’s hostile takeover of Mannesmann in 2000 and it is again in the spotlight since the outbreak of the financial crisis of 2009. Based on unique panel data evidence of the 500 largest firms in Germany in the period 1977-2009 we test two prominent hypothesis in the literature on executive pay: the manager power hypothesis and the efficient pay hypothesis. We find support for the manager power hypothesis for Germany as executives tend to be rewarded when the sector is doing well rather than the firm they work for. We reject, however, the efficient pay hypothesis as CEO pay and the demand for managers increases in Germany in difficult times when the typical firm size shrinks. We find further that domestic and global competition for managers has contributed to the rise in executive pay in Germany. Lastly, we show that CEOs in the banking sector are provided with incentives for performance and that the great recession of 2009 acted as a disciplining devise on CEO pay in Germany.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3757.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3757

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Keywords: executive compensation; corporate governance;

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References

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  1. Frydman, Carola & Jenter, Dirk, 2010. "CEO Compensation," Research Papers 2069, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  2. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Cuñat, Vicente & Guadalupe, Maria, 2006. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives Inside the Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 5950, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Philippon, Thomas & Reshef, Ariell, 2009. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909-2006," CEPR Discussion Papers 7282, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2006. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," 2006 Meeting Papers 518, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Christian Dustmann & Johannes Ludsteck & Uta Schönberg, 2009. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 843-881, May.
  7. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2012. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening and Multitasking," IAST Working Papers 12-03, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST), revised Mar 2013.
  2. K. Sommerfeld, 2013. "Higher and higher? Performance pay and wage inequality in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(30), pages 4236-4247, October.

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