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Managerial Capital and the Market for CEOs

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  • Kevin J. Murphy

    ()
    (USC)

  • Jan Zabojnik

    ()
    (Queen's University)

Abstract

This paper reconciles two pronounced trends in U.S. corporate governance: the increase in pay levels for top executives, and the increasing prevalence of appointing CEOs through external hiring rather than internal promotions. We propose that these trends reflect a shift in the relative importance of "managerial ability" (transferable across companies) and "firm-specific human capital" (valuable only within the organization). We show that if the supply of workers in the corporate sector is relatively elastic, an increase in the relative importance of managerial ability leads to fewer promotions, more external hires, and an increase in equilibrium average wages for CEOs. We test our model using CEO pay and turnover data from 1970 to 2000. We show that CEO compensation is higher for CEOs hired from outside their firm, and for CEOs in industries where outside hiring is prevalent.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1110.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1110.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1110

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Related research

Keywords: CEO pay; CEO turnover; General skills; Firms specific skills;

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References

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  1. Borokhovich, Kenneth A. & Parrino, Robert & Trapani, Teresa, 1996. "Outside Directors and CEO Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(03), pages 337-355, September.
  2. Coughlan, Anne T. & Schmidt, Ronald M., 1985. "Executive compensation, management turnover, and firm performance : An empirical investigation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 43-66, April.
  3. Weisbach, Michael S., 1988. "Outside directors and CEO turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 431-460, January.
  4. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Jesse M. Fried, 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
  5. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Jesse M. Fried & David I. Walker, 2002. "Managerial Power and Rent Extraction in the Design of Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 9068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Parrino, Robert, 1997. "CEO turnover and outside succession A cross-sectional analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 165-197, November.
  7. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  8. Warner, Jerold B. & Watts, Ross L. & Wruck, Karen H., 1988. "Stock prices and top management changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 461-492, January.
  9. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 49-70, Summer.
  10. Kevin J. Murphy & Ján Zábojník, 2004. "CEO Pay and Appointments: A Market-Based Explanation for Recent Trends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 192-196, May.
  11. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  12. Waldman, Michael, 1984. "Worker Allocation, Hierarchies and the Wage Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 95-109, January.
  13. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," NBER Working Papers 11458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
  15. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Fried, Jesse M., 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt81q3136r, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  16. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Inequality and the Organization of Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 197-202, May.
  17. Hall, Brian J. & Murphy, Kevin J., 2002. "Stock options for undiversified executives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-42, February.
  18. Mark R. Huson, 2001. "Internal Monitoring Mechanisms and CEO Turnover: A Long-Term Perspective," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2265-2297, December.
  19. Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2005. "Trends in Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2351-2384, October.
  20. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1988. "The Determinants of Board Composition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 589-606, Winter.
  21. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," NBER Working Papers 9784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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