IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Performance choice, executive bonuses and corporate leverage

  • Duru, Augustine
  • Iyengar, Raghavan J.
  • Zampelli, Ernest M.
Registered author(s):

    This study examines the causal link between a firm's leverage decisions and the characteristics of its CEO bonus plans. Results from a simultaneous equations model strongly suggest that highly levered firms are less likely to use return on equity (ROE) or ROE-based accounting performance measures to determine executive bonuses. Estimates also indicate that firms with fewer debt covenants, higher interest rates on debt, and a greater proportion of executive pay in the form of stock options are less likely to adopt ROE-based measures for use in CEO bonus plans. These findings lend strong support to the efficient contracting hypothesis. The conflicting interests of corporate stakeholders, especially between stockholders and creditors, encourage firms to tie executive pay to performance metrics like return on assets (ROA) that will strike the optimal balance between the agency costs of debt and the agency costs of equity.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0929119912000909
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 1286-1305

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:18:y:2012:i:5:p:1286-1305
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Mehran, Hamid, 1992. "Executive Incentive Plans, Corporate Control, and Capital Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 539-560, December.
    2. Smith, Clifford W. & Stulz, René M., 1985. "The Determinants of Firms' Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 391-405, December.
    3. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
    4. John R. Graham & Mark H. Lang & Douglas A. Shackelford, 2004. "Employee Stock Options, Corporate Taxes, and Debt Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1585-1618, 08.
    5. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Skinner, Douglas J., 1993. "The investment opportunity set and accounting procedure choice : Preliminary evidence," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 407-445, October.
    7. Berger, Philip G & Ofek, Eli & Yermack, David L, 1997. " Managerial Entrenchment and Capital Structure Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1411-38, September.
    8. Hovakimian, Armen & Opler, Tim & Titman, Sheridan, 2001. "The Debt-Equity Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 1-24, March.
    9. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
    10. Bryan, Stephen & Nash, Robert & Patel, Ajay, 2006. "Can the agency costs of debt and equity explain the changes in executive compensation during the 1990s?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 516-535, June.
    11. Sloan, Richard G., 1993. "Accounting earnings and top executive compensation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-3), pages 55-100, April.
    12. Healy, Paul M., 1985. "The effect of bonus schemes on accounting decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 85-107, April.
    13. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-91, July.
    14. Rajesh Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Clifford W. Smith Jr. & Ross L. Watts, 1982. "Incentive and Tax Effects of Executive Compensation Plans," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 7(2), pages 139-157, December.
    16. Rajiv D. Banker & Rong Huang & Ramachandran Natarajan, 2009. "Incentive Contracting and Value Relevance of Earnings and Cash Flows," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 647-678, 06.
    17. Duru, Augustine & Mansi, Sattar A. & Reeb, David M., 2005. "Earnings-based bonus plans and the agency costs of debt," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 431-447.
    18. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    19. Kose John & Anthony Saunders & Lemma W. Senbet, 1998. "A Theory of Bank Regulation and Management Compensation," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-043, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    20. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Warner, Jerold B., 1979. "On financial contracting : An analysis of bond covenants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-161, June.
    21. Agrawal, Anup & Knoeber, Charles R., 1996. "Firm Performance and Mechanisms to Control Agency Problems between Managers and Shareholders," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(03), pages 377-397, September.
    22. Smith, C.W. & Watts, R.L., 1992. "The Investment Oppotunity set and Corporate Financing, Dividend and Compensation Policies," Papers 92-02, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
    23. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Choe, Chongwoo, 2003. "Leverage, volatility and executive stock options," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 591-609, November.
    25. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
    26. Sweeney, Amy Patricia, 1994. "Debt-covenant violations and managers' accounting responses," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 281-308, May.
    27. Stulz, ReneM., 1990. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-27, July.
    28. Bizjak, John M. & Brickley, James A. & Coles, Jeffrey L., 1993. "Stock-based incentive compensation and investment behavior," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-3), pages 349-372, April.
    29. John, Teresa A & John, Kose, 1993. " Top-Management Compensation and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 949-74, July.
    30. Marsh, Paul, 1982. " The Choice between Equity and Debt: An Empirical Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 121-44, March.
    31. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Daniel, Naveen D. & Naveen, Lalitha, 2006. "Managerial incentives and risk-taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 431-468, February.
    32. Ertugrul, Mine & Hegde, Shantaram, 2008. "Board compensation practices and agency costs of debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 512-531, December.
    33. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
    34. 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.
    35. Anup Agrawal & Charles R. Knoeber, . "Firm Performance and Mechanisms to Control Agency Problems between Managers and Shareholders (Revision of 29-94)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 8-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    36. Huang, Guihai & Song, Frank M., 2006. "The determinants of capital structure: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 14-36.
    37. Deen Kemsley & Doron Nissim, 2002. "Valuation of the Debt Tax Shield," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2045-2073, October.
    38. Rajgopal, Shivaram & Shevlin, Terry, 2002. "Empirical evidence on the relation between stock option compensation and risk taking," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 145-171, June.
    39. John D. Knopf & Jouahn Nam & John H. Thornton Jr., 2002. "The Volatility and Price Sensitivities of Managerial Stock Option Portfolios and Corporate Hedging," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 801-813, 04.
    40. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    41. Yermack, David, 1995. "Do corporations award CEO stock options effectively?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 237-269.
    42. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
    43. Tufano, Peter, 1996. " Who Manages Risk? An Empirical Examination of Risk Management Practices in the Gold Mining Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1097-1137, September.
    44. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
    45. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    46. Murphy, Kevin J., 2000. "Performance standards in incentive contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 245-278, December.
    47. Core, John & Guay, Wayne, 1999. "The use of equity grants to manage optimal equity incentive levels," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 151-184, December.
    48. Baber, William R. & Janakiraman, Surya N. & Kang, Sok-Hyon, 1996. "Investment opportunities and the structure of executive compensation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 297-318, June.
    49. DeFusco, Richard A & Johnson, Robert R & Zorn, Thomas S, 1990. " The Effect of Executive Stock Option Plans on Stockholders and Bondholders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 617-27, June.
    50. Anup Agrawal & Charles R. Knoeber, . "Firm Performance and Mechanisms to Control Agency Problems between Managers and Shareholders (Revision of 29-94)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 08-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    51. Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The effect of capital structure on a firm's liquidation decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 137-151, March.
    52. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    53. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    54. Stulz, ReneM., 1988. "Managerial control of voting rights : Financing policies and the market for corporate control," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 25-54, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:18:y:2012:i:5:p:1286-1305. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.