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Reputation penalties for poor monitoring of executive pay: Evidence from option backdating

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  • Ertimur, Yonca
  • Ferri, Fabrizio
  • Maber, David A.

Abstract

We study whether outside directors are held accountable for poor monitoring of executive compensation by examining the reputation penalties to directors of firms involved in the option backdating (BD) scandal of 2006–2007. We find that, at firms involved in BD, significant penalties accrued to compensation committee members (particularly those who served during the BD period) both in terms of votes withheld when up for election and in terms of turnover, especially in more severe cases of BD. However, directors of BD firms did not suffer similar penalties at non-BD firms, raising the question of whether reputation penalties for poor oversight of executive pay are large enough to affect the ex ante incentives of directors.

Suggested Citation

  • Ertimur, Yonca & Ferri, Fabrizio & Maber, David A., 2012. "Reputation penalties for poor monitoring of executive pay: Evidence from option backdating," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 118-144.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:104:y:2012:i:1:p:118-144
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2011.12.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Croci, Ettore & Petmezas, Dimitris, 2015. "Do risk-taking incentives induce CEOs to invest? Evidence from acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-23.
    2. Lin, Zhijun & Song, Byron Y. & Tian, Zhimin, 2016. "Does director-level reputation matter? Evidence from bank loan contracting," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 160-176.
    3. Sandra Cavaco & Patricia Crifo & Antoine Rebérioux & Gwenaël Roudaut, 2014. "Independent directors: less informed, but better selected? New evidence from a two-way director-firm fixed effect model," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-58, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    4. Laura Henning, 2015. "Shareholder voting and merger returns," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 29(4), pages 337-363, November.
    5. Carver, Brian T. & Cline, Brandon N. & Hoag, Matthew L., 2013. "Underperformance of founder-led firms: An examination of compensation contracting theories during the executive stock options backdating scandal," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 294-310.
    6. Brochet, Francois & Srinivasan, Suraj, 2014. "Accountability of independent directors: Evidence from firms subject to securities litigation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 430-449.
    7. Jay J. Janney & Steve Gove, 2017. "Firm Linkages to Scandals via Directors and Professional Service Firms: Insights from the Backdating Scandal," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 65-79, January.
    8. Frederick L. Bereskin & Clifford W. Smith Jr., 2014. "Mechanisms of Board Turnover: Evidence From Backdating," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 26(2), pages 65-78, June.
    9. Vizcaíno, Marcos & Chousa, Juan P., 2016. "Analyzing the influence of the funds' support on Tobin's q using SEM and fsQCA," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 2118-2124.
    10. repec:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:401-427 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Masulis, Ronald W. & Mobbs, Shawn, 2014. "Independent director incentives: Where do talented directors spend their limited time and energy?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 406-429.
    12. Scott D Dyreng & Jeffrey L Hoopes & Jaron H Wilde, 2014. "Public pressure and corporate tax behaviour," Working Papers 1416, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    13. 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.
    14. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0375-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Cavaco, Sandra & Crifo, Patricia & Rebérioux, Antoine & Roudaut, Gwenael, 2017. "Independent directors: Less informed but better selected than affiliated board members?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 106-121.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Option backdating; Director labor market; Shareholder voting; Director turnover; Corporate governance;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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