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Negative Hedging: Performance-Sensitive Debt and CEOs’ Equity Incentives

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  • Tchistyi, Alexei
  • Yermack, David
  • Yun, Hayong

Abstract

We examine the relation between chief executive officers’ equity incentives and their use of performance-sensitive debt contracts. These contracts require higher or lower interest payments when the borrower’s performance deteriorates or improves, thereby increasing expected costs of financial distress while making a firm riskier to the benefit of option holders. We find that managers whose compensation is more sensitive to stock volatility choose steeper and more convex performance pricing schedules, while those with high delta incentives choose flatter, less convex pricing schedules. Performance pricing contracts therefore seem to provide a channel for managers to increase firms’ financial risk to gain private benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Tchistyi, Alexei & Yermack, David & Yun, Hayong, 2011. "Negative Hedging: Performance-Sensitive Debt and CEOs’ Equity Incentives," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 657-686, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:46:y:2011:i:03:p:657-686_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim R. Adam & Daniel Streitz, 2013. "Bank Lending Relationships and the Use of Performance-Sensitive Debt," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-027, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. Timothy King & Jonathan Williams, 2013. "Bank Efficiency and Executive Compensation," Working Papers 13009, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    3. repec:kap:rqfnac:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11156-016-0601-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Adam, Tim R. & Burg, Valentin & Scheinert, Tobias & Streitz, Daniel, 2014. "Managerial Optimism and Debt Contract Design: The Case of Syndicated Loans," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 475, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    5. repec:rss:jnljef:v3i5p1 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gormley, Todd A. & Matsa, David A. & Milbourn, Todd, 2013. "CEO compensation and corporate risk: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 79-101.
    7. repec:eee:finmar:v:35:y:2017:i:c:p:65-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Adam, Tim R. & Streitz, Daniel, 2014. "Hold-Up and the Use of Performance-Sensitive Debt," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 476, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    9. Shen, Carl Hsin-han & Zhang, Hao, 2013. "CEO risk incentives and firm performance following R&D increases," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1176-1194.

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