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Firm Expansion and CEO Pay

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  • Lucian Bebchuk
  • Yaniv Grinstein

Abstract

We study the extent to which decisions to expand firm size are associated with increases in subsequent CEO compensation. Controlling for past stock performance, we find a positive correlation between CEO compensation and the CEO's past decisions to increase firm size. This correlation is economically meaningful; for example, other things being equal, CEOs who in the preceding three years were in the top quartile in terms of expanding by increasing the number of shares outstanding receive compensation that is higher by one-third than the compensation of CEOs belonging to the bottom quartile. We also find that stock returns are correlated with subsequent CEO pay only to the extent that they contribute to expanding firm size; only the component of past stock returns not distributed as dividends is correlated with subsequent CEO pay. Finally, we find an asymmetry between increases and decreases in size: while increases in firm size are followed by higher CEO pay, decreases in firm size are not followed by reduction in such pay. The association we find between CEOs' compensation and firm-expanding decisions undertaken earlier during their service could provide CEOs with incentives to expand firm size.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11886.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11886

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Cited by:
  1. Fahlenbrach, Rudiger, 2008. "Shareholder Rights, Boards, and CEO Compensation," Working Paper Series 2008-5, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  2. Francis, Bill & Hasan, Iftekhar & John, Kose & Sharma, Zenu, 2013. "Asymmetric benchmarking of pay in firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 39-53.
  3. Bargeron, Leonce & Schlingemann, Frederick & Stulz, Rene & Zutter, Chad, 2007. "Why Do Private Acquirers Pay So Little Compared to Public Acquirers?," Working Paper Series 2007-8, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  4. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier & Alex Edmans, 2008. "A Calibratable Model of Optimal CEO Incentives in Market Equilibrium," 2008 Meeting Papers 430, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Johnston, James, 2007. "Independent Directors, Executive Remuneration and the Governance of the Corporation: Some Empirical Evidence from the United Kingdom," Review of Applied Economics, Review of Applied Economics, vol. 3(1-2).
  6. Yim, Soojin, 2013. "The acquisitiveness of youth: CEO age and acquisition behavior," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 250-273.
  7. Itay Goldstein & Alexander Guembel & James Dow, 2008. "Incentives for Information Production in Markets where Prices Affect Real Investment," 2008 Meeting Papers 270, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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