Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Is there Discretion in Wage Setting? A Test Using Takeover Legislation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Sendhil Mullainathan
  • Marianne Bertrand

Abstract

Anecdotal evidence suggests that uncontrolled managers let wages rise above competitive levels. Testing this popular perception has proven difficult, however, because independent variation in the extent of managerial discretion is needed. In this paper, we use states' passage of anti-takeover legislation as a source of such independent variation. Passed in the 1980's, these laws seriously limited takeovers of firms incorporated in legislating states. Since many view hostile takeovers as an important disciplining device, these laws potentially raised managerial discretion in affected firms. If uncontrolled managers pay higher wages, we expect wages to rise following these laws. Using firm-level data, we find that relative to a control group, annual wages for firms incorporated in states passing laws did indeed rise by 1 to 2% or about $500 per year. The findings are robust to a battery of specification checks and do not appear to be contaminated by the political economy of the laws or other sources of bias. Our results suggest that discretion significantly affects wages. They challenge standard theories of wage determination which ignore the role of managerial preferences.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 98-19.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Oct 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:98-19

Contact details of provider:
Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Phone: (617) 253-3361
Fax: (617) 253-1330
Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Email:

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 110.
  2. Pound, John, 1987. "The Effects of Antitakeover Amendments on Takeover Activity: Some Direct Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 353-67, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1987. "The Impact of Firm Acquisitions on Labor," NBER Working Papers 2273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Erica L. Groshen & David Neumark, 1993. "Do Hostile Takeovers Reduce Extramarginal Wage Payments?," NBER Working Papers 4346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Szewczyk, Samuel H. & Tsetsekos, George P., 1992. "State intervention in the market for corporate control : The case of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1310," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 3-23.
  7. Jensen, Michael C, 1988. "Takeovers: Their Causes and Consequences," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 21-48, Winter.
  8. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 351.
  9. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  10. Edwards, Franklin R, 1977. "Managerial Objectives in Regulated Industries: Expense-Preference Behavior in Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 147-62, February.
  11. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
  12. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Working Papers 2342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David Scharfstein, 1988. "Product-Market Competition and Managerial Slack," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 147-155, Spring.
  14. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1987. "Inter-Industry Wage Differences and Theories of Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 2271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  16. Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101, February.
  17. Timothy H. Hannan & Ferdinand Mavinga, 1980. "Expense Preference and Managerial Control: the Case of the Banking Firm," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 671-682, Autumn.
  18. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Malatesta, Paul H., 1989. "The wealth effects of second-generation state takeover legislation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 291-322, December.
  19. Richard A. Lester, 1952. "A range theory of wage differentials," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 5(4), pages 483-500, July.
  20. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  21. Alan J. Auerbach, 1988. "Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer88-1, October.
  22. Rosett, Joshua G., 1990. "Do union wealth concessions explain takeover premiums? : The evidence on contract wages," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 263-282, September.
  23. Oliver D. Hart, 1983. "The Market Mechanism as an Incentive Scheme," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 366-382, Autumn.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:98-19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Linda Woodbury).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.