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Stocks or Options? Moral Hazard, Firm Viability, and the Design of Compensation Contracts

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  • Ohad Kadan

Abstract

We consider the choice between stocks and options to provide effort incentives to a risk-averse manager. We show that stocks can dominate options as a means of motivation only if nonviability risk is substantial, as in financially distressed firms or start-ups. Options dominate stocks for other firms. These results hold regardless of the existing portfolio of the manager. We provide empirical evidence that higher bankruptcy risk is indeed correlated with more use of stock. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

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  • Ohad Kadan, 2008. "Stocks or Options? Moral Hazard, Firm Viability, and the Design of Compensation Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 451-482, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:1:p:451-482
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhm077
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    Cited by:

    1. Charitou, Andreas & Dionysiou, Dionysia & Lambertides, Neophytos & Trigeorgis, Lenos, 2013. "Alternative bankruptcy prediction models using option-pricing theory," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2329-2341.
    2. Hori, Keiichi & Osano, Hiroshi, 2014. "Investment timing decisions of managers under endogenous contracts," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 607-627.
    3. Christopher S. Armstrong & David F. Larcker & Che-Lin Su, 2010. "Endogenous Selection and Moral Hazard in Compensation Contracts," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 58(4-part-2), pages 1090-1106, August.
    4. repec:eee:ecmode:v:71:y:2018:i:c:p:16-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hongfei Tang, 2014. "Are CEO stock option grants optimal? Evidence from family firms and non-family firms around the Sarbanes–Oxley Act," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 251-292, February.
    6. Jewitt, Ian & Kadan, Ohad & Swinkels, Jeroen M., 2008. "Moral hazard with bounded payments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 59-82, November.
    7. Hsiaw, Alice, 2013. "Goal-setting and self-control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 601-626.
    8. repec:eee:jfinec:v:128:y:2018:i:2:p:378-401 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Gormley, Todd A. & Matsa, David A. & Milbourn, Todd, 2013. "CEO compensation and corporate risk: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 79-101.
    10. Chan, Chia-Ying & Chou, De-Wai & Lin, Jane-Raung & Liu, Feng-Ying, 2016. "The role of corporate governance in forecasting bankruptcy: Pre- and post-SOX enactment," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 166-188.
    11. Wu, Yan Wendy, 2011. "Optimal executive compensation: Stock options or restricted stocks," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 633-644, October.
    12. Bo Sun, 2013. "The optimal shape of compensation contracts with earnings management," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(21), pages 3102-3109, July.
    13. Ellul, Andrew & Wang, Cong & Zhang, Kuo, 2016. "Labor Unemployment Risk and CEO Incentive Compensation," CEPR Discussion Papers 11634, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Arantxa Jarque, 2008. "Optimal CEO compensation and stock options," Working Papers. Serie EC 2008-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

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