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

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  • Sendhil Mullainathan
  • Marianne Bertrand

Abstract

In this paper, we use states' passage of anti-takeover legislation as a source of such independent variation. Passed in the 1980s, these laws serioulsy 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.

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Bibliographic Info

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

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Date of creation: Oct 1998
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Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:98-19

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Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/
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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
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  1. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 351.
  2. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Alan J. Auerbach, 1988. "Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer88-1.
  8. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 33-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Scharfstein, 1988. "Product-Market Competition and Managerial Slack," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 147-155, Spring.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 110.
  16. Jensen, Michael C, 1988. "Takeovers: Their Causes and Consequences," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 21-48, Winter.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1988. "The Impact of Firm Acquisitions on Labor," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 9-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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