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A Simple Explanation of the Relative Performance Evaluation Puzzle

Author

Listed:
  • Marco Celentani

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Rosa Loveira

    (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Abstract

We study a simple moral hazard model in which two risk-neutral owners establish incentives for their risk-averse managers to exert effort. Because the probability distributions over output realizations depend on a common aggregate shock, optimal contracts make the compensation of each manager contingent on own performance but also on a performance benchmark--the performance of the other firm. If the marginal return of effort depends on the aggregate state, optimal contracts are not monotonically decreasing in the performance benchmark. This provides a simple explanation of the Relative Performance Evaluation (RPE) Puzzle--the documented lack of a negative relationship between CEO compensation and comparative performance measures, such as industry or market performance. Our simple model can also explain one-sided RPE--the documented tendency to insulate a CEO's rewards from bad luck, but not from good luck. We clarify that our results are robust in several dimensions and we discuss other applications of our findings. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Celentani & Rosa Loveira, 2006. "A Simple Explanation of the Relative Performance Evaluation Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 525-540, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:05-109 DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2006.04.001
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2006.04.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Celentani & Rosa Loveira-Pazó, 2004. "What form of relative performance evaluation?," Economics Working Papers 744, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Garvey, Gerald T. & Milbourn, Todd T., 2006. "Asymmetric benchmarking in compensation: Executives are rewarded for good luck but not penalized for bad," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 197-225, October.
    3. Bengt Holmstrom & Joan Ricart i Costa, 1986. "Managerial Incentives and Capital Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 835-860.
    4. Gerald Garvey & Todd Milbourn, 2003. "Incentive Compensation When Executives Can Hedge the Market: Evidence of Relative Performance Evaluation in the Cross Section," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1557-1582, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simona Fabrizi & Steffen Lippert, 2012. "Due Diligence, Research Joint Ventures, and Incentives to Innovate," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 168(4), pages 588-611, December.
    2. Kim, Kyonghee, 2010. "Blockholder monitoring and the efficiency of pay-performance benchmarking," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 748-766, December.
    3. Arantxa Jarque, 2008. "CEO compensation : trends, market changes, and regulation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 265-300.
    4. Jarque, Arantxa, 2014. "The Complexity of CEO Compensation," Working Paper 14-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    5. Stanimir Morfov & Manuel Santos, 2017. "A Model of Managerial Talent: Addressing Some Puzzles in CEO Compensation," Working Papers 2017-03, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    6. Fleckinger, Pierre, 2012. "Correlation and relative performance evaluation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 93-117.
    7. Jean-Pierre Danthine & John Donaldson, 2015. "Executive Compensation: A General Equilibrium Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 269-286, April.
    8. Gueorgui I. Kolev & Robin Hogarth, 2008. "Illusory correlation in the remuneration of chief executive officers: It pays to play golf, and well," Economics Working Papers 1132, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    9. Jean-Daniel Guigou & Patrick De Lamirande & Bruno Lovat, 2011. "Strategic delegation and collusion: Do incentive schemes matter?," LSF Research Working Paper Series 11-02, Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg.
    10. Arantxa Jarque, 2008. "Optimal CEO compensation and stock options," Working Papers. Serie EC 2008-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relative performance evaluation; optimal contracts; executive compensation.;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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