CEO Compensation after Deregulation: The Case of Electric Utilities
The 1992 National Energy Policy Act (NEPA) intensified competition in the electric utility industry by allowing nonutility generators to produce and sell power in wholesale energy markets. Congress expected NEPA to lead to improved operating efficiencies by substituting market forces for regulation. A data set that is unique to the utility industry allows us to test how and whether utility firms reallocated resources to improve efficiencies and, more important for this study, whether CEO compensation changed in accordance with agency theory predictions that CEO compensation would become more incentive-based and more equity-based in the competitive operating environment.
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