IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v99y2009i5p1740-69.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Has Moral Hazard Become a More Important Factor in Managerial Compensation?

Author

Listed:
  • George-Levi Gayle
  • Robert A. Miller

Abstract

We estimate a principal-agent model of moral hazard with longitudinal data on firms and managerial compensation over two disjoint periods spanning 60 years to investigate increased value and variability in managerial compensation. We find exogenous growth in firm size largely explains these secular trends in compensation. In our framework, exogenous firm size works through two channels. First, conflicts of interest between shareholders and managers are magnified in large firms, so optimal compensation plans are now more closely linked to insider wealth. Second, the market for managers has become more differentiated, increasing the premium paid to managers of large versus small firms. (JEL D82, L25, M12, M52)

Suggested Citation

  • George-Levi Gayle & Robert A. Miller, 2009. "Has Moral Hazard Become a More Important Factor in Managerial Compensation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1740-1769, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:1740-69
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.1740
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.5.1740
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec09/20070864_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec09/20070864_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 123-123.
    2. Fudenberg, Drew & Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1990. "Short-term contracts and long-term agency relationships," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-31, June.
    3. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
    4. Masson, Robert Tempest, 1971. "Executive Motivations, Earnings, and Consequent Equity Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1278-1292, Nov.-Dec..
    5. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, January.
    6. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-264, April.
    7. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 653-691.
    8. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "The Other Side of the Trade-off: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 65-105, February.
    9. Haubrich, Joseph G, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 258-276, April.
    10. George-Levi Gayle & Robert A. Miller, 2015. "Identifying and Testing Models of Managerial Compensation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 1074-1118.
    11. Peter F. Kostiuk, 1990. "Firm Size and Executive Compensation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 90-105.
    12. 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.
    13. Kevin J. Murphy & Jan Zabojnik, 2006. "Managerial Capital and the Market for CEOs," Working Papers 1110, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    14. Cuñat, Vicente & Guadalupe, Maria, 2006. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives Inside the Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 5950, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    16. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    17. John M. Abowd & David S. Kaplan, 1999. "Executive Compensation: Six Questions That Need Answering," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 145-168, Fall.
    18. Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-1199, December.
    19. Margiotta, Mary M & Miller, Robert A, 2000. "Managerial Compensation and the Cost of Moral Hazard," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 669-719, August.
    20. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Has Moral Hazard Become a More Important Factor in Managerial Compensation? (AER 2009) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:1740-69. 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: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.