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CEO optimism and incentive compensation

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  • Otto, Clemens A.

Abstract

I study the effect of chief executive officer (CEO) optimism on CEO compensation. Using data on compensation in US firms, I provide evidence that CEOs whose option exercise behavior and earnings forecasts are indicative of optimistic beliefs receive smaller stock option grants, fewer bonus payments, and less total compensation than their peers. These findings add to our understanding of the interplay between managerial biases and remuneration and show how sophisticated principals can take advantage of optimistic agents by appropriately adjusting their compensation contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Otto, Clemens A., 2014. "CEO optimism and incentive compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 366-404.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:114:y:2014:i:2:p:366-404
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2014.06.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam, Tim R. & Burg, Valentin & Scheinert, Tobias & Streitz, Daniel, 2014. "Managerial Optimism and Debt Contract Design: The Case of Syndicated Loans," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 475, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    2. Gete, Pedro & Gomez, Juan Pedro, 2017. "Dealing with Overleverage: Restricting Leverage vs. Restricting Variable Compensation," MPRA Paper 80642, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jen-Wen Chang & Simpson Zhang, 2018. "Competitive Pay and Excessive Manager Risk-taking," Working Papers 18-02, Office of Financial Research, US Department of the Treasury.
    4. Helen X. H. Bao & Steven Haotong Li, 2016. "Overconfidence And Real Estate Research: A Survey Of The Literature," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(04), pages 1-24, September.
    5. Jie Chen & Wei Song & Marc Goergen, 2018. "Passing the dividend baton: The impact of dividend policy on new CEOs' initial compensation," Working Papers 2018-18, Swansea University, School of Management.
    6. Humphery-Jenner, Mark & Lisic, Ling Lei & Nanda, Vikram & Silveri, Sabatino Dino, 2016. "Executive overconfidence and compensation structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 533-558.
    7. Focke, Florens & Maug, Ernst & Niessen-Ruenzi, Alexandra, 2017. "The impact of firm prestige on executive compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 313-336.
    8. Kim, Jaesoo, 2015. "Managerial beliefs and incentive policies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 84-95.
    9. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jörgen, 2015. "Pay Schemes, Bargaining, and Competition for Talent," Working Paper Series 1100, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    10. Jie Chen & Woon Sau Leung & Wei Song & Marc Goergen, 2018. "Why female board representation matters: The role of female directors in reducing male CEO overconfidence in corporate decisions," Working Papers 2018-12, Swansea University, School of Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    CEO optimism; Incentive compensation; Compensation contract;

    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
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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