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Executive Compensation, Incentives, and Risk

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  • Jenter, Dirk

Abstract

This paper analyzes the link between equity-based compensation and created incentives by (1) deriving a measure of incentives suitable for both linear and non-linear compensation contracts, (2) analyzing the effect of risk on incentives, and (3) clarifying the role of the agent's private trading decisions in incentive creation. With option-based compensation contracts, the average pay-forperformance sensitivity is not an adequate measure of ex-ante incentives. Pay-for-performance covaries negatively with marginal utility and hence overstates the created incentives. Second, more noise in the performance measure implies that the manager is less certain about the effect of effort on performance, which in turn makes her less willing to exert effort. Finally, the private trading decisions by the manager have first-order effects on incentives. By reducing her holdings of the market asset, the manager achieves an effect similar to "indexing" the stock or option grant, making explicit indexation of the contract redundant.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/5068
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management in its series Working papers with number 4466-02.

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Date of creation: 28 May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:5068

Contact details of provider:
Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Phone: 617-253-2659
Web page: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/
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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA

Related research

Keywords: executive compensation; equity-based compensation; created incentives;

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References

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  1. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
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  9. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 1998. "Executive Compensation and Incentives: The Impact of Takeover Legislation," Working papers 98-20, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Carola Frydman & Dirk Jenter, 2010. "CEO Compensation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3277, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Inci, A. Can, 2012. "Insider trading activity, tenure length, and managerial compensation," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 151-166.
  3. Pierre Chaigneau, 2012. "The Effect of Risk Preferences on the Valuation and Incentives of Compensation Contracts," Cahiers de recherche 1209, CIRPEE.
  4. Pierre Chaigneau, 2012. "The effect of risk preferences on the valuation and incentives of compensation contracts," FMG Discussion Papers dp697, Financial Markets Group.
  5. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2006. "Costs of broad-based stock option plans," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 511-534, October.
  6. Nittai K. Bergman & Dirk Jenter, 2005. "Employee Sentiment and Stock Option Compensation," NBER Working Papers 11409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Avdjiev, Stefan & Zeng, Zheng, 2009. "Impact of heterogeneous managerial productivity on executive hedge markets in an asymmetric information environment," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 187-201, December.
  8. Dirk Jenter & Fadi Kanaan, 2006. "CEO Turnover and Relative Performance Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 12068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Barron, John M. & Waddell, Glen R., 2008. "Work hard, not smart: Stock options in executive compensation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(3-4), pages 767-790, June.
  10. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2004. "Compensating Employees Below the Executive Ranks: A Comparison of Options, Restricted Stock, and Cash," NBER Working Papers 10221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Carpenter, Jennifer N. & Stanton, Richard & Wallace, Nancy, 2010. "Optimal exercise of executive stock options and implications for firm cost," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 315-337, November.
  12. Inderst, Roman & Mueller, Holger M, 2006. "CEO Compensation and Strategy Inertia," CEPR Discussion Papers 5713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2005. "Accounting, Governance, and Broad-Based Stock Option Grants," Research Papers 1821r1, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.

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