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Too Much Pay-Performance Sensitivity?


  • Ivan E. Brick

    (Rutgers Business School)

  • Oded Palmon

    (Rutgers Business School)

  • John K. Wald

    (University of Texas at San Antonio)


We examine the relation between pay-performance sensitivity (PPS), the convexity of managerial compensation (Vega), and future stock risk and returns for a large sample of firms between 1992 and 2004. Higher PPS and Vega are both associated with lower future stock returns. Part of this negative relation can be explained by risk-averse managers decreasing equity risk in response to increases in PPS and Vega. However, even after correcting for lower future risk, future stock returns are negatively associated with the magnitude of option sensitivity. This finding is consistent with previous studies that link high option compensation to manager-owner agency problems. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivan E. Brick & Oded Palmon & John K. Wald, 2012. "Too Much Pay-Performance Sensitivity?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 287-303, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:1:p:287-303

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    Cited by:

    1. Mansi, Sattar A. & Wald, John K. & Zhang, Andrew (Jianzhong), 2016. "Severance agreements and the cost of debt," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 426-444.
    2. Siegert, Caspar & Trepper, Piers, 2015. "Optimal tolerance for failure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 41-55.
    3. Colin P. Green & John S. Heywood, 2016. "Don't Forget the Gravy! Are Bonuses Just Added on Top of Salaries?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 490-513, July.
    4. Gormley, Todd A. & Matsa, David A., 2016. "Playing it safe? Managerial preferences, risk, and agency conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 431-455.
    5. Beladi, Hamid & Quijano, Margot, 2013. "CEO incentives for risk shifting and its effect on corporate bank loan cost," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 182-188.
    6. Shen, Carl Hsin-han & Zhang, Hao, 2013. "CEO risk incentives and firm performance following R&D increases," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1176-1194.

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