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CEO Incentives and Firm Size

  • George P. Baker

    (Harvard University and National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Brian J. Hall

    (Harvard University and National Bureau of Economic Research)

Registered author(s):

    We develop a model that clarifies how to measure CEO incentive strength and how to reconcile the enormous differences in pay sensitivities between executives in large and small firms. The crucial parameter is shown to be the elasticity of CEO productivity with respect to firm size. We find that CEO marginal products rise significantly with firm size (confirming Rosen's conjecture that CEOs of large firms have a "chain letter" effect on firm performance), and overall CEO incentives are roughly constant, or decline slightly, with firm size. We employ a multitask model to discuss implications for the design of control systems.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/423154
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 767-798

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:22:y:2004:i:4:p:767-798
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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    1. Lisa Meulbroek, 2001. "The Efficiency of Equity-Linked Compensation: Understanding the Full Cost of Awarding Executive Stock Options," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 30(2), Summer.
    2. Nancy L. Rose & Andrea Shepard, 1994. "Firm Diversification and CEO Compensation: Managerial Ability or Executive Entrenchment?," NBER Working Papers 4723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
    4. Robert C. Merton, 2005. "Theory of rational option pricing," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 8, pages 229-288 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Haubrich, Joseph G, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 258-76, April.
    6. Kevin J. Murphy & Brian J. Hall, 2000. "Optimal Exercise Prices for Executive Stock Options," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 209-214, May.
    7. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "The Other Side of the Trade-off: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 65-105, February.
    8. Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-99, December.
    9. Core, John & Guay, Wayne, 1999. "The use of equity grants to manage optimal equity incentive levels," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 151-184, December.
    10. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    11. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-64, April.
    12. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1997. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," NBER Working Papers 6213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. repec:sae:ilrrev:v:43:y:1990:i:3:p:30-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Darius Palia, 2000. "The Impact of Regulation on CEO Labor Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 165-179, Spring.
    15. Scott Schaefer, 1998. "The Dependence Of Pay--Performance Sensitivity On The Size Of The Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 436-443, August.
    16. Murphy, Kevin J., 1985. "Corporate performance and managerial remuneration : An empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 11-42, April.
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