Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Rajesh Aggarwal
  • Andrew A. Samwick

Abstract

The principal-agent model of executive compensation is of central importance to the modern theory of the firm and corporate governance, yet the existing empirical evidence supporting it is quite weak. The key predication of the model is that the executive's pay-performance sensitivity is decreasing in the variance of the firm's performance. We demonstrate strong empirical confirmation of this prediction using a comprehensive sample of executives at large corporations. In general, the pay-performance sensitivity for executives at firms with the least volatile stock prices is an order of magnitude greater than the pay-performance sensitivity for executives at firms with the most volatile stock prices. This result holds for both chief executive officers and for other highly compensated executives. We further show that estimates of the pay-performance sensitivity that do not explicitly account for the effect of the variance of firm performance are biased toward zero. We also test for relative performance evaluation of executives against the performance of other firms. We find little support for the relative performance evaluation model. Our findings suggest that executive compensation contracts incorporate the benefits of risk-sharing but do not incorporate the potential informational advantages of relative performance evaluation.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6634.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6634.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 107 (February 1999): 65-105.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6634

Note: AP CF LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

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. Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1991. "Relative Performance Evaluation for Chief Executive Officers," NBER Working Papers 2944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1205, David K. Levine.
  4. Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-99, December.
  6. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
  7. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1997. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," NBER Working Papers 6213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Barro, Jason R. & Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Pay, Performance, and Turnover of Bank CEOs," Scholarly Articles 3451300, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Haubrich, Joseph G, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 258-76, April.
  10. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1741, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Koenker, Roger & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1982. "Robust Tests for Heteroscedasticity Based on Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 43-61, January.
  12. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1997. "Are CEOs Paid Like Bureaucrats?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1789, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. William Gould, 1993. "Quantile regression with bootstrapped standard errors," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(9).
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:nbr:nberwo:6634. 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: ().

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.