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

Work hard, not smart: Stock options in executive compensation

  • Barron, John M.
  • Waddell, Glen R.

This paper examines the optimal equity compensation for executives. When executives choose a level of effort to devote to gathering information and a criterion for acting on the information gathered, the optimal exercise price involves a trade-off; a higher exercise price moves the executive's decision criterion away from first-best but provides leverage that moves the executive's effort toward first-best. This trade-off depends on a variety of factors, including the potential influence of decisions on firm value. We document empirical regularities consistent with the theory such as that options are relatively less prevalent in the equity compensation of more-senior executives.

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/B6V8F-4N0PPRK-1/1/2060a75aa84082907745661a040de0da
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 Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (June)
Pages: 767-790

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:66:y:2008:i:3-4:p:767-790
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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. Yermack, David, 1995. "Do corporations award CEO stock options effectively?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 237-269.
  2. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 653-691, August.
  3. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "The Other Side of the Trade-off: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 65-105, February.
  4. Bryan, Stephen & Hwang, LeeSeok & Lilien, Steven, 2000. "CEO Stock-Based Compensation: An Empirical Analysis of Incentive-Intensity, Relative Mix, and Economic Determinants," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(4), pages 661-93, October.
  5. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  6. Kevin J. Murphy & Brian J. Hall, 2000. "Optimal Exercise Prices for Executive Stock Options," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 209-214, May.
  7. Campbell, Tim S. & Chan, Yuk-Shee & Marino, Anthony M., 1989. "Incentive contracts for managers who discover and manage investment projects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 353-364, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  10. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-64, April.
  11. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 49-70, Summer.
  13. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "Performance Incentives Within Firms: The Effect of Managerial Responsibility," NBER Working Papers 7334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Barron, John M. & Waddell, Glen R., 2003. "Executive rank, pay and project selection," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 305-349, February.
  15. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. "Committees, Hierarchies and Polyarchies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 451-70, June.
  16. Hirshleifer, David & Suh, Yoon, 1992. "Risk, managerial effort, and project choice," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 308-345, September.
  17. 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.
  18. Jennifer N. Carpenter, 2000. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2311-2331, October.
  19. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
  20. 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.
  21. Jennifer Carpenter, 1999. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-076, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  22. Jenter, Dirk, 2004. "Executive Compensation, Incentives, and Risk," Working papers 4466-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  23. 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.
  24. Canice Prendergast, 1996. "What Happens Within Firms? A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Compensation Policies," NBER Working Papers 5802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1981. "Resolving the Agency Problems of External Capital through Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(3), pages 629-47, June.
  26. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2003. "The Trouble with Stock Options," NBER Working Papers 9784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. John M. Abowd & David S. Kaplan, 1999. "Executive Compensation: Six Questions That Need Answering," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 145-168, Fall.
  28. Brown, Pamela Clark & Miller, Jeffrey B. & Thornton, James R., 1991. "Optimal executive perquisites," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 341-345, December.
  29. 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.
  30. Stephen A. Ross, 2004. "Compensation, Incentives, and the Duality of Risk Aversion and Riskiness," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 207-225, 02.
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:jeborg:v:66:y:2008:i:3-4:p:767-790. 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.