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Benefits of Broad-based Option Pay

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  • Inderst, Roman
  • Mueller, Holger M

Abstract

Future wage payments drive a wedge between total firm output and the output share received by the firm’s owners, thus potentially distorting strategic decisions by the firm’s owners such as, e.g., whether to continue the firm, sell it, or shut it down. Using an optimal contracting approach, we show that the unique optimal firm-wide employee compensation scheme from this perspective is a broad-based option plan. Broad-based option pay minimizes the firm’s expected future wage payments in states of nature where the firm is only marginally profitable, thus making continuation as attractive as possible in precisely those states of nature where, e.g., a high fixed wage would lead the firm’s owners to inefficiently exit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4878.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4878

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Related research

Keywords: Broad Option Pay; Employee Stock Options;

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  1. 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.
  2. Paul Oyer, 2000. "Why Do Firms Use Incentives that Have No Incentive Effects?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1440, Econometric Society.
  3. 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.
  4. Weitzman, Martin L, 1985. "The Simple Macroeconomics of Profit Sharing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 937-53, December.
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  6. Yellen, Janet L, 1984. "Efficiency Wage Models of Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 200-205, May.
  7. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  8. 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.
  9. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
  10. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," NBER Working Papers 9784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "Implicit Contracts under Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 123-56, Supplemen.
  12. Bergman, Nittai K. & Jenter, Dirk, 2007. "Employee sentiment and stock option compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 667-712, June.
  13. Burkart, Mike & Gromb, Denis & Panunzi, Fausto, 1997. "Large Shareholders, Monitoring, and the Value of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 693-728, August.
  14. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Jones, Derek C. & Kalmi, Panu & Mäkinen, Mikko, 2006. "The Productivity Effects of Stock Option Schemes: Evidence from Finnish Panel Data," Discussion Papers 1026, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2006:i:2:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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