Relative Performance Evaluation for Chief Executive Officers
AbstractMeasured individual performance often depends on random factors which also affect the performances of other workers in the same firm, industry, or market. In these cases, relative performance evaluation (RPE) can provide incentives while partially insulating workers from the common uncertainty. Basing pay on relative performance, however, generates incentives to sabotage the measured performance of co-workers, to collude with co-workers and shirk, and to apply for jobs with inept co-workers. RPE contracts also are less desirable when the output of co-workers is expensive to measure or in the presence of production externalities, as in the case of team production. The purpose of this paper is to review the benefits and costs of RPE and to test for the presence of RPE in one occupation where the benefits plausibly exceed the costs: chief executive officers (CEOs). In contrast to previous research, our empirical evidence strongly supports the RPE hypothesis-CEO pay revisions and retention probabilities are positively and significantly related to firm performance, but are negatively and significantly related to industry and market performance, ceteris paribus. Our results also suggest that CEO performance is more likely to be evaluated relative to aggregate market movements than relative to industry movements.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2944.
Date of creation: Jan 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Vol. 43, No. 3, (Special Issue) pp. 30-51, (February 1990).
Note: ITI IFM
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Other versions of this item:
- Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1990. "Relative performance evaluation for chief executive officers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 30-51, February.
- Robert Gibbons & Kevin Murphy, 1989. "Relative Performance Evaluation for Chief Executive Officers," Working Papers 628, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1989. "Relative Performance Evaluation For Chief Executive Officers," Working papers 532, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- G19 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Other
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