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Managerial compensation and the underinvestment problem

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  • Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran
  • Sarkar, Sudipto

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of managerial compensation terms on the well-known “underinvestment” incentive. We extend the Mauer and Ott (2000) real-option model of corporate expansion, and show that, when the manager maximizes the value of his compensation package (rather than equity value), the underinvestment problem can be substantially mitigated. Further, by designing an appropriate compensation contract, it is possible to eliminate the underinvestment incentive altogether. This managerial contract, consisting of fixed salary and equity ownership, is explicitly derived in the model. The equity ownership level is found to be an increasing function of the manager's fixed salary and the company's earnings growth rate, and a decreasing function of leverage ratio, earnings volatility, tax rate, bankruptcy costs, and the manager's severance pay at bankruptcy.

Suggested Citation

  • Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Sarkar, Sudipto, 2011. "Managerial compensation and the underinvestment problem," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 308-315.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:1:p:308-315
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2010.08.017
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    Cited by:

    1. Pareja-Alcaraz, Pablo, 2017. "Chinese investments in Southern Europe's energy sectors: Similarities and divergences in China's strategies in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 700-710.
    2. repec:kap:jmgtgv:v:21:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10997-016-9366-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:rvmgts:v:11:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11846-016-0202-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Andres, Christian & Fernau, Erik & Theissen, Erik, 2014. "Should I stay or should I go? Former CEOs as monitors," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 26-47.
    5. Dylan Minor, 2016. "Executive Compensation and Environmental Harm," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-076, Harvard Business School, revised Apr 2016.
    6. Huang, Hsing-Hua & Huang, Hongming & Shih, Pai-Ta, 2012. "Real options and earnings-based bonus compensation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2389-2402.
    7. Simona Catuogno & Sara Saggese & Fabrizia Sarto & Riccardo Viganò, 2016. "Shedding light on the aim of stock options: a literature review," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(2), pages 387-411, June.
    8. Carlo Cambini & Sara De Masi & Laura Rondi, 2013. "Incentive Compensation and Incentive Regulation: Empirical Evidence," IEFE Working Papers 58, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    9. Albring, Susan M. & Khurana, Inder K. & Nejadmalayeri, Ali & Pereira, Raynolde, 2011. "Managerial compensation and the debt placement decision," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1445-1456.
    10. Kim, Hwa-Sung, 2013. "Executive bonus compensation when abnormal earnings and the state of the economy are correlated," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 58-65.
    11. Baixauli-Soler, J. Samuel & Belda-Ruiz, Maria & Sanchez-Marin, Gregorio, 2015. "Executive stock options, gender diversity in the top management team, and firm risk taking," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 451-463.
    12. Morikawa, Masayuki, 2015. "Are large headquarters unproductive?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 422-436.
    13. Carlo Cambini & Sara De Masi & Laura Rondi, 2016. "CEO incentives in European energy utilities: evidence from regulated versus unregulated firms," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(2), pages 127-155, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Real-option; Underinvestment; Management compensation; Agency problem;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies

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