The Effect of Risk Preferences on the Valuation and Incentives of Compensation Contracts
AbstractWe use a comparative approach to study the incentives provided by different types of compensation contracts, and their valuation by risk averse managers, in a fairly general setting. We show that concave contracts tend to provide more incentives to risk averse managers, while convex contracts tend to be more valued by prudent managers. This is because concave contracts concentrate incentives where the marginal utility of risk averse managers is highest, while convex contracts protect against downside risk. Thus, prudence can contribute to explain the prevalence of stock-options in executive compensation. We also present a condition on the utility function which enables to compare the structure of optimal contracts associated with different risk preferences.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1209.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Executive compensation; principal-agent model; prudence; risk preferences; stock-options;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sanford J Grossman & Oliver D Hart, 2001.
"An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
391749000000000339, David K. Levine.
- Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Ingolf Dittmann & Ko-Chia Yu, 2009. "How Important Are Risk-Taking Incentives in Executive Compensation?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-076/2, Tinbergen Institute.
- Ingolf Dittmann & Ernst Maug & Oliver Spalt, 2010. "Sticks or Carrots? Optimal CEO Compensation when Managers Are Loss Averse," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2015-2050, December.
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996.
"Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts,"
96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Jenter, Dirk, 2004.
"Executive Compensation, Incentives, and Risk,"
4466-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Stephen A. Ross, 2004. "Compensation, Incentives, and the Duality of Risk Aversion and Riskiness," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 207-225, 02.
- Maug, Ernst & Dittmann, Ingolf, 2007. "Lower Salaries and No Options: The Optimal Structure of Executive Pay," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-41, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
- Kevin J. Murphy & Brian J. Hall, 2000.
"Optimal Exercise Prices for Executive Stock Options,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 209-214, May.
- Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2000. "Optimal Exercise Prices for Executive Stock Options," NBER Working Papers 7548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2001.
"The Empirical Importance of Precautionary Saving,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 406-412, May.
- Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2001. "The Empirical Importance of Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 8107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Parker, Jonathan A, 2001. "The Empirical Importance of Precautionary Saving," CEPR Discussion Papers 2737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ingolf Dittmann & Ernst Maug, 2007. "Lower Salaries and No Options? On the Optimal Structure of Executive Pay," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 303-343, 02.
- Kraus, Alan & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1976. "Skewness Preference and the Valuation of Risk Assets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1085-1100, September.
- Scott, Robert C & Horvath, Philip A, 1980. " On the Direction of Preference for Moments of Higher Order Than the Variance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(4), pages 915-19, September.
- Keenan, Donald C. & Snow, Arthur, 2010. "Greater prudence and greater downside risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 2018-2026, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Johanne Perron).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.