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Incentive Pay and Bank Risk-taking: Evidence from Austrian, German, and Swiss Banks

In: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2014

Author

Listed:
  • Matthias Efing
  • Harald Hau
  • Patrick Kampkötter
  • Johannes Steinbrecher

Abstract

We use payroll data in the Austrian, German, and Swiss banking sector to identify incentive pay in the critical banking segments of treasury/capital market management and investment banking for 67 banks. We document an economically significant correlation of incentive pay with both the level and volatility of bank trading income—particularly for the pre-crisis period 2003–2007, in which incentive pay was strongest. This result is robust if we instrument the bonus share in the capital market divisions with the strength of incentive pay in unrelated bank divisions like retail banking. Moreover, pre-crisis incentive pay appears too strong for an optimal trade-off between trading income and risk, which maximizes the net present value of trading income. Further analyses indicate that the bonus moderation during the crisis has removed excessive pre-crisis incentive pay.
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Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Efing & Harald Hau & Patrick Kampkötter & Johannes Steinbrecher, 2014. "Incentive Pay and Bank Risk-taking: Evidence from Austrian, German, and Swiss Banks," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2014, pages 123-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13459
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Colonnello, Stefano & Koetter, Michael & Wagner, Konstantin, 2018. "Effectiveness and (in)efficiencies of compensation regulation: Evidence from the EU banker bonus cap," IWH Discussion Papers 7/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    2. Jason Allen & James R. Thompson, 2016. "Capital Structure, Pay Structure and Job Termination," Staff Working Papers 16-12, Bank of Canada.
    3. Axel Wieneke, 2016. "Better Financial Innovation via Innovative Finance of Supervisors," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 35(1), pages 16-23, March.
    4. Aptus, Elias & Britz, Volker & Gersbach, Hans, 2014. "On the economics of crisis contracts," CFS Working Paper Series 453, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    5. Harkin, Sean M. & Mare, Davide S. & Crook, Jonathan N., 2017. "Average Pay in Banks: Do Agency Problems and Bank Performance Matter?," MPRA Paper 81249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Morrison, Alan & Thanassoulis, John, 2017. "Ethical standards and cultural assimilation in financial services," CEPR Discussion Papers 12060, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Gietl, Daniel & Haufler, Andreas, 2016. "Bonus Taxes and International Competition for Bank Managers," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145615, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Matthias Efing & Harald Hau & Patrick Kampkötter & Johannes Steinbrecher, 2015. "Die Dosis macht das Gift – eine Analyse zum Einfluss von Bonuszahlungen auf die Profitabilität und das Risiko von Banken," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(03), pages 23-31, February.
    9. repec:gam:jijfss:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:31-:d:121071 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Boustanifar, Hamid & Grant, Everett & Reshef, Ariell, 2016. "Wages and human capital in finance: international evidence, 1970-2005," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 266, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis

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