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Reducing managers' incentives to cannibalize: Managerial stock options when shareholders are diversified

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  • Kraus, Alan
  • Rubin, Amir

Abstract

We analyze the relative advantage of option grants compared to stock compensation when shareholders are diversified. Our analysis recognizes a conflict that is largely neglected in the corporate finance literature. Shareholders want to maximize their portfolio value while capital budgeting rules direct managers to choose projects that maximize firm (equity) value. Options can reduce this conflict by motivating managers to avoid projects that enhance the value of one firm at the expense of another firm. Also, in our framework, relative performance evaluation destroys value for shareholders as it encourages firms to engage in cannibalistic activity. Consistent with the predictions of our model we find that firms with lower insider ownership, higher institutional ownership, and lower leverage tend to provide more option grants as compensation to their executives.

Suggested Citation

  • Kraus, Alan & Rubin, Amir, 2010. "Reducing managers' incentives to cannibalize: Managerial stock options when shareholders are diversified," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 439-460, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:19:y:2010:i:4:p:439-460
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    Cited by:

    1. Valerie Revest & Alessandro Sapio, 2016. "The creation function of a junior listing venue: An empirical test on the Alternative Investment Market," LEM Papers Series 2016/32, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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