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The effect of employee stock options on the evolution of compensation in the 1990s

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  • Hamid Mehran
  • Joseph Tracy

Abstract

Between 1995 and 1998, actual growth in compensation per hour (CPH) accelerated from approximately 2 percent to 5 percent. Yet as the labor market continued to tighten in 1999, CPH growth unexpectedly slowed. This article explores whether this aggregate \\"wage puzzle\\" can be explained by changes in the pay structure?specifically, by the increased use of employee stock options in the 1990s. The CPH measure captures these options on their exercise date, rather than on the date they are granted. By recalculating compensation per hour to reflect the options' value on the grant date, the authors find that the adjusted CPH measure accelerated in each year from 1995 to 1999.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamid Mehran & Joseph Tracy, 2001. "The effect of employee stock options on the evolution of compensation in the 1990s," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 17-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:2001:i:dec:p:17-34:n:v.7no.3
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    2. Jordi Galí & Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2012. "Unemployment in an Estimated New Keynesian Model," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 329-360.
    3. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2005. "Why do some firms give stock options to all employees?: An empirical examination of alternative theories," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 99-133, April.
    4. Jordi Galí, 2011. "The Return Of The Wage Phillips Curve," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 436-461, June.
    5. Kevin F. Hallock & Craig A. Olson, 2010. "New Data for Answering Old Questions Regarding Employee Stock Options," NBER Chapters, in: Labor in the New Economy, pages 149-180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rosanne Altshuler & Alan J. Auerbach & Michael Cooper & Matthew Knittel, 2009. "Understanding US Corporate Tax Losses," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 23, pages 73-122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Julien Champagne & André Kurmann, 2010. "The Great Increase in Relative Volatility of Real Wages in the United States," Cahiers de recherche 1010, CIRPEE.
    8. Robert E. Houmes & Terrance R. Skantz, 2010. "Highly Valued Equity and Discretionary Accruals," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1‐2), pages 60-92, January.
    9. Ahsan Habib & Mostafa Monzur Hasan, 2017. "Firm life cycle, corporate risk-taking and investor sentiment," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 57(2), pages 465-497, June.
    10. Sang Cheol Lee & Jaewan Park & Mooweon Rhee & Yunkeun Lee, 2018. "Moderating Effects of Agency Problems and Monitoring Systems on the Relationship between Executive Stock Option and Audit Fees: Evidence from Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(11), pages 1-24, November.
    11. Robert E. Houmes & Terrance R. Skantz, 2010. "Highly Valued Equity and Discretionary Accruals," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1-2), pages 60-92.
    12. Champagne, Julien & Kurmann, André, 2013. "The great increase in relative wage volatility in the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 166-183.
    13. N Mohan & J Ruggiero, 2003. "Compensation differences between male and female CEOs for publicly traded firms: a nonparametric analysis," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 54(12), pages 1242-1248, December.
    14. Wenjing Ouyang & Menghistu Sallehu, 2015. "How do Broad-Based Stock Option Grants Affect Firms' Overall Future Productivity," The International Journal of Business and Finance Research, The Institute for Business and Finance Research, vol. 9(2), pages 21-38.

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    options; Wages; Stocks;
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