IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Stealth compensation: Do CEOs increase their pay by influencing dividend policy?

Listed author(s):
  • Minnick, Kristina
  • Rosenthal, Leonard
Registered author(s):

    Companies can increase executive compensation by allowing dividends to be paid on unvested restricted stocks grants, also known as stealth compensation. Examining all S&P 500 firms over the period 2003–2007, we find that more than half of the dividend paying firms allow this practice. We look at whether this form of compensation reduces agency costs or decreases value for shareholders. We find that CEOs' stealth compensation amounts to an average of $180,000 in additional income, which increases the CEOs' cash compensation and total compensation by 9% and 2% respectively. Firms engaging in stealth compensation have higher dividend payout ratios than those not allowing stealth compensation. For all firms using stealth compensation, there is a reduction in average ROA and Tobin's Q over the long run. However, stealth compensation companies with potential agency issues see a meaningful improvement in their long run performance. For weakly governed companies, stealth compensation may act as a bonding mechanism which may serve to reduce agency costs and therefore increase shareholder value.

    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/S0929119914000078
    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): 25 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 435-454

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:25:y:2014:i:c:p:435-454
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2014.01.005
    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. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2001. "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics Or Lower Propensity To Pay?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(1), pages 67-79.
    2. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-349, June.
    3. Hoje Jo & Maretno Harjoto, 2011. "Corporate Governance and Firm Value: The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 103(3), pages 351-383, October.
    4. Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1992. "Does Executive Compensation Affect Investment?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 5(2), pages 99-109.
    5. David Roodman, 2009. "How to do xtabond2: An introduction to difference and system GMM in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(1), pages 86-136, March.
    6. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Enjoying the Quiet Life? Corporate Governance and Managerial Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1043-1075, October.
    7. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behavior: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 791-833.
    8. Denis, David J. & Hanouna, Paul & Sarin, Atulya, 2006. "Is there a dark side to incentive compensation?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 467-488, June.
    9. Jeffrey R. Brown & Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2007. "Executive Financial Incentives and Payout Policy: Firm Responses to the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1935-1965, 08.
    10. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely, 2002. "Dividends, Share Repurchases, and the Substitution Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1649-1684, 08.
    11. Hong, Harrison & Kostovetsky, Leonard, 2012. "Red and blue investing: Values and finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 1-19.
    12. Mariassunta Giannetti & Andrei Simonov, 2006. "Which Investors Fear Expropriation? Evidence from Investors' Portfolio Choices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1507-1547, 06.
    13. Kahle, Kathleen M., 2002. "When a buyback isn't a buyback: open market repurchases and employee options," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 235-261, February.
    14. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    15. Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
    16. Ferreira, Miguel A. & Santa-Clara, Pedro, 2011. "Forecasting stock market returns: The sum of the parts is more than the whole," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 514-537, June.
    17. Cheng, Shijun, 2008. "Board size and the variability of corporate performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 157-176, January.
    18. Core, John E. & Holthausen, Robert W. & Larcker, David F., 1999. "Corporate governance, chief executive officer compensation, and firm performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 371-406, March.
    19. Lambert, Richard A. & Lanen, William N. & Larcker, David F., 1989. "Executive Stock Option Plans and Corporate Dividend Policy," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(04), pages 409-425, December.
    20. Chung, Kee H. & Zhang, Hao, 2011. "Corporate Governance and Institutional Ownership," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 247-273, March.
    21. Fenn, George W. & Liang, Nellie, 2001. "Corporate payout policy and managerial stock incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 45-72, April.
    22. Kai Li & Hernán Ortiz-Molina & Xinlei Zhao, 2008. "Do Voting Rights Affect Institutional Investment Decisions? Evidence from Dual-Class Firms," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 37(4), pages 713-745, December.
    23. Jiang, Zhan & Kim, Kenneth A. & Lie, Erik & Yang, Sean, 2013. "Share repurchases, catering, and dividend substitution," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 36-50.
    24. Wintoki, M. Babajide & Linck, James S. & Netter, Jeffry M., 2012. "Endogeneity and the dynamics of internal corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 581-606.
    25. Franklin Allen & Antonio E. Bernardo & Ivo Welch, 2000. "A Theory of Dividends Based on Tax Clienteles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2499-2536, December.
    26. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    27. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1991. "The Effects of Board Composition and Direct Incentives on Firm Performance," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 20(4), Winter.
    28. Lucian Bebchuk & Alma Cohen & Allen Ferrell, 2009. "What Matters in Corporate Governance?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(2), pages 783-827, February.
    29. 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.
    30. Goergen, Marc & Renneboog, Luc, 2011. "Managerial compensation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1068-1077, September.
    31. Christine Jolls, 1998. "Stock Repurchases and Incentive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Yaniv Grinstein & Roni Michaely, 2005. "Institutional Holdings and Payout Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1389-1426, 06.
    33. repec:bla:joares:v:38:y:2000:i::p:171-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    34. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    35. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
    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:25:y:2014:i:c:p:435-454. 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: (Dana Niculescu)

    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.