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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
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Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:5068

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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. Yermack, David, 1995. "Do corporations award CEO stock options effectively?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 237-269.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Do CEOs Set Their Own Pay? The Ones Without Principals Do," Working Papers 810, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts In The Presence Of Career Concerns: Theory And Evidence," Working papers 563, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Rajesh Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. David Yermack, 1996. "Good Timing: CEO Stock Option Awards and Company News Announcements," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 96-41, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
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  19. Johnson, Shane A. & Tian, Yisong S., 2000. "Indexed executive stock options," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 35-64, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bergman, Nittai K. & Jenter, Dirk, 2007. "Employee sentiment and stock option compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 667-712, June.
  2. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2006. "Costs of broad-based stock option plans," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 511-534, October.
  3. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2005. "Accounting, Governance, and Broad-Based Stock Option Grants," Research Papers 1821r1, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  4. 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.
  5. Pierre Chaigneau, 2012. "The Effect of Risk Preferences on the Valuation and Incentives of Compensation Contracts," Cahiers de recherche 1209, CIRPEE.
  6. Carola Frydman & Dirk Jenter, 2010. "CEO Compensation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3277, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. 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.
  8. Dirk Jenter & Fadi Kanaan, 2006. "CEO Turnover and Relative Performance Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 12068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pierre Chaigneau, 2012. "The effect of risk preferences on the valuation and incentives of compensation contracts," FMG Discussion Papers dp697, Financial Markets Group.
  10. 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.
  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. Inci, A. Can, 2012. "Insider trading activity, tenure length, and managerial compensation," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 151-166.
  13. Inderst, Roman & Mueller, Holger M, 2006. "CEO Compensation and Strategy Inertia," CEPR Discussion Papers 5713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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