Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem
This paper calculates numerical solutions to the principal-agent problem and compares the results to the stylized facts of CEO compensation. The numerical predictions come from parameterizing the models of Sanford J. Grossman and Oliver D. Hart (1983) and of Bengt Holmstrom and Paul Milgrom (1987). While the correct incentives for a CEO can greatly enhance a firm's performance, providing such incentives need not be expensive. For many parameter values, CEO compensation need increase only by about $10 for every $1,000 of additional shareholder value; for some values, the amount is 0.003 cents. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.
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