IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Stock options and managerial optimal contracts

  • Jorge Aseff


  • Manuel Santos


In this paper we are concerned with the performance of stock option contracts in the provision of managerial incentives. In our simple framework, we restrict the space of contracts available to the principal to those conformed by a fixed payment and a call option on the firm’s stock. As compared to the fixed payment and the option grant, we find that the strike price plays an intermediate role in the provision of insurance and incentives. We also develop some methods for the calibration of a standard principal-agent model based upon observed CEO earnings schedules and the volatility of the firm’s value in the stock market. These methods are useful to address some important issues such as the performance of stock option contracts, the degree of risk aversion compatible with current earnings profiles and the sensitivity of compensation to changes in firm’s characteristics. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer & Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET) in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 26 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 813-837

in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:26:y:2005:i:4:p:813-837
DOI: 10.1007/s00199-004-0563-8
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Edward Simpson Prescott, 1998. "Computing moral-hazard problems using the Dantzig-Wolfe decomposition algorithm," Working Paper 98-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  2. 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.
  3. Wang, Cheng, 1997. "Incentives, CEO Compensation and Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5170, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
  5. Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1991. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Edward Simpson Prescott, 1999. "A primer on moral-hazard models," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 47-78.
  7. Joseph G. Haubrich & Ivilina Popova, 1994. "Executive compensation: a calibration approach," Working Paper 9416, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  8. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1987. "Competition for Agency Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 296-307, Summer.
  9. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  10. 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.
  11. Page, Frank Jr., 1987. "The existence of optimal contracts in the principal-agent model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 157-167, April.
  12. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Brian J. Hall & Kevin J. Murphy, 2000. "Stock Options for Undiversified Executives," NBER Working Papers 8052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  15. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  16. Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 1996. "Impetuous Youngsters and Jaded Old-Timers: Acquiring a Reputation for Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1105-34, December.
  17. Celentani, Marco & Caruana, Guillermo, 2001. "Career concerns and contingent compensation," UC3M Working papers. Economics we014811, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  18. Santos, Manuel S., 1999. "Numerical solution of dynamic economic models," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 311-386 Elsevier.
  19. Joseph G. Haubrich, 1991. "Risk aversion, performance pay, and the principal-agent problem," Working Paper 9118, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  20. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1997. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," NBER Working Papers 6213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas F. Cooley, . "Sensitivity of CEO Pay to Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," GSIA Working Papers 2002-E13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  22. Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:26:y:2005:i:4:p:813-837. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.