IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Wealth and Executive Compensation




Using new data on the wealth of Swedish CEOs, I show that higher wealth CEOs receive stronger incentives. Since high wealth (excluding own-firm holdings) implies low absolute risk aversion, this is consistent with a risk aversion explanation. To examine whether wealth is likely to proxy for power, I use lagged wealth (typically measured before the CEO was hired), and the results remain for one of two incentive measures. Also, the wealth-incentive result is not stronger for CEOs likely to face limited owner oversight. Finally, wealth is unrelated to pay levels, and is hence unlikely to proxy for skill. Copyright 2006 by The American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Bo Becker, 2006. "Wealth and Executive Compensation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 379-397, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:61:y:2006:i:1:p:379-397

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Louis K. C. Chan & Jason Karceski & Josef Lakonishok, 2003. "Analysts' Conflict of Interest and Biases in Earnings Forecasts," NBER Working Papers 9544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alexander Ljungqvist & William J. Wilhelm, 2003. "IPO Pricing in the Dot-com Bubble," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 723-752, April.
    3. Krigman, Laurie & Shaw, Wayne H. & Womack, Kent L., 2001. "Why do firms switch underwriters?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 245-284, May.
    4. Daniel J. Bradley & Bradford D. Jordan & Jay R. Ritter, 2003. "The Quiet Period Goes out with a Bang," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 1-36, February.
    5. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Anjan V. Thakor, 2000. "Can Relationship Banking Survive Competition?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 679-713, April.
    6. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
    7. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-685, May.
    8. Abarbanell, Jeffery S., 1991. "Do analysts' earnings forecasts incorporate information in prior stock price changes?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 147-165, June.
    9. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-443.
    10. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    11. James, Christopher, 1992. " Relationship-Specific Assets and the Pricing of Underwriter Services," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1865-1885, December.
    12. Miles Livingston & Robert E. Miller, 2000. "Investment Bank Reputation and the Underwriting of Nonconvertible Debt," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 29(2), Summer.
    13. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    14. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
    15. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
    16. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    17. Anand, Bharat N & Galetovic, Alexander, 2000. "Information, Nonexcludability, and Financial Market Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(3), pages 357-402, July.
    18. Michaely, Roni & Womack, Kent L, 1999. "Conflict of Interest and the Credibility of Underwriter Analyst Recommendations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(4), pages 653-686.
    19. John R. Graham, 1999. "Herding among Investment Newsletters: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 237-268, February.
    20. Gande, Amar, et al, 1997. "Bank Underwriting of Debt Securities: Modern Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 1175-1202.
    21. Megginson, William L & Weiss, Kathleen A, 1991. " Venture Capitalist Certification in Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 879-903, July.
    22. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Amit Solomon, 2000. "Security Analysts' Career Concerns and Herding of Earnings Forecasts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 121-144, Spring.
    23. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Multiproduct Firms, Product Differentiation, and Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    24. repec:bla:joares:v:28:y:1990:i:2:p:409-417 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2003. "Analyzing the Analysts: Career Concerns and Biased Earnings Forecasts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 313-351, February.
    26. Bharat N. Anand & Alexander Galetovic, 2002. "Does Competition Kill Relationships? Inside Investment Banking," Documentos de Trabajo 119, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    27. Chemmanur, Thomas J & Fulghieri, Paolo, 1994. " Investment Bank Reputation, Information Production, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 57-79, March.
    28. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ramírez, Andrés & Tadesse, Solomon, 2009. "Corporate cash holdings, uncertainty avoidance, and the multinationality of firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 387-403, August.
    2. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2007. "A Calibratable Model of Optimal CEO Incentives in Market Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 13372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jesse Edgerton, 2011. "Agency problems in public firms: evidence from corporate jets in leveraged buyouts," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Bliss, Richard T. & Potter, Mark E. & Schwarz, Christopher, 2012. "Decision making and risk aversion in the Cash Cab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 163-173.
    5. Kelly Shue & Richard Townsend, 2016. "Growth through Rigidity: An Explanation for the Rise in CEO Pay," NBER Working Papers 21975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix, 2016. "Executive Compensation: A Modern Primer," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1232-1287, December.
    7. Rui Albuquerque & Jianjun Miao, 2013. "CEO Power, Compensation, and Governance," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 443-479, November.
    8. Mobbs, Shawn & Raheja, Charu G., 2012. "Internal managerial promotions: Insider incentives and CEO succession," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1337-1353.
    9. Zhiguo He & Si Li & Bin Wei & Jianfeng Yu, 2014. "Uncertainty, Risk, and Incentives: Theory and Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(1), pages 206-226, January.
    10. Li, Fei & Ueda, Masako, 2009. "Why do reputable agents work for safer firms?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 2-12, March.
    11. Joseph Y. Chen & Bruce L. Miller, 2009. "On the Relative Performance of Linear vs. Piecewise-Linear-Threshold Intertemporal Incentives," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(10), pages 1743-1752, October.
    12. Aktas, Nihat & de Bodt, Eric & Roll, Richard, 2009. "Learning, hubris and corporate serial acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 543-561, December.
    13. Kelly Shue & Richard Townsend, 2017. "How do Quasi-Random Option Grants Affect CEO Risk-Taking?," NBER Working Papers 23091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Engesaeth, E.J.P., 2011. "Managerial compensation contracting," Other publications TiSEM 5eb8d152-e701-4e5c-8852-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    15. Tzioumis, Konstantinos, 2008. "Why do firms adopt CEO stock options? Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 100-111, October.
    16. Aktas, Nihat & de Bodt, Eric & Van Oppens, Hervé, 2008. "Legal insider trading and market efficiency," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1379-1392, July.
    17. Jie (Jack) He & Tao Shu & Huan Yang, 2018. "The Employee Clientele of Corporate Leverage: Evidence from Personal Labor Income Diversification," Working Papers 18-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    18. repec:cuf:journl:y:2013:v:14:i:1:n:2:albuquerque is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Yacine Belghitar & Ephraim Clark, 2014. "Convexity, Magnification, And Translation: The Effect Of Managerial Option-Based Compensation On Corporate Cash Holdings," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 37(2), pages 191-210, June.
    20. Bienz, Carsten & Thorburn, Karin & Walz, Uwe, 2016. "Coinvestment and risk taking in private equity funds," SAFE Working Paper Series 126, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    21. Pu Chen & Sanxi Li & Jianye Yan & Xundong Yin, 2016. "Moral hazard in innovation: the relationship between risk aversion and performance pay," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 77-89, May.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:bla:jfinan:v:61:y:2006:i:1:p:379-397. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.