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The power of the pen and executive compensation

  • Core, John E.
  • Guay, Wayne
  • Larcker, David F.
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    We examine the press' role in monitoring and influencing executive compensation practice using more than 11,000 press articles about CEO compensation from 1994 to 2002. Negative press coverage is more strongly related to excess annual pay than to raw annual pay, suggesting a sophisticated approach by the media in selecting CEOs to cover. However, negative coverage is also greater for CEOs with more option exercises, suggesting the press engages in some degree of "sensationalism." We find little evidence that firms respond to negative press coverage by decreasing excess CEO compensation or increasing CEO turnover.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

    Volume (Year): 88 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 1-25

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:88:y:2008:i:1:p:1-25
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    1. Zingales, Luigi, 2000. "In Search of New Foundations," CEPR Discussion Papers 2551, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2000. "Stock Options for Undiversified Executives," NBER Working Papers 8052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bengt Holmstrom & Steven N. Kaplan, 2003. "The State Of U.S. Corporate Governance: What'S Right And What'S Wrong?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 15(3), pages 8-20.
    5. 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.
    6. Dyck, Alexander & Zingales, Luigi, 2002. "Private Benefits of Control: An International Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 3177, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Gregory S. Miller, 2006. "The Press as a Watchdog for Accounting Fraud," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(5), pages 1001-1033, December.
    8. Dyck, Alexander & Zingales, Luigi, 2002. "The Corporate Governance Role of the Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 3630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
    10. 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.
    11. 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 301-25, June.
    12. Dial, Jay & Murphy, Kevin J., 1995. "Incentives, downsizing, and value creation at General Dynamics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 261-314, March.
    13. Heron, Randall A. & Lie, Erik, 2007. "Does backdating explain the stock price pattern around executive stock option grants?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 271-295, February.
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