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Wealth and Executive Compensation

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  • BO BECKER

Abstract

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
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    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. repec:eee:jfinec:v:128:y:2018:i:2:p:378-401 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix, 2016. "Executive Compensation: A Modern Primer," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1232-1287, December.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Li, Fei & Ueda, Masako, 2009. "Why do reputable agents work for safer firms?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 2-12, March.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Engesaeth, E.J.P., 2011. "Managerial compensation contracting," Other publications TiSEM 5eb8d152-e701-4e5c-8852-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. repec:cuf:journl:y:2013:v:14:i:1:n:2:albuquerque is not listed on IDEAS
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.

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