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Executive Pay and Performance in the UK 1994-2002

  • Paul Gregg
  • Sarah Jewell
  • Ian Tonks

    ()

This paper examines the relationship between executive cash compensation and company performance for a sample of large UK companies over the period 1994-2002. This relationship is examined against a background of a series of reports into corporate governance mechanisms in UK companies. We show that base pay compensation of UK executives has increased substantially over this period, and we provide evidence on the movement in the pay-performance sensitivity over time. We identify an asymmetric relationship between pay and performance: in years and for companies in which stock returns are relatively high, pay-performance elasticities are high, but we find that executive pay is less sensitive to performance in those cases when stock returns are low. This suggests that overall there is little relationship between pay and performance. We also explore the heterogeneity of the pay-performance relationship across firms, and find that board structure, firm size, industry and firm risk are all significant determinants of executive compensation.

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File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp122.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 05/122.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:05/122
Contact details of provider: Postal: 2 Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TX
Phone: 0117 33 10799
Fax: 0117 33 10705
Web page: http://www.bris.ac.uk/cmpo/
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  7. 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.
  8. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 653-691, August.
  9. Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1990. "Relative performance evaluation for chief executive officers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 30-51, February.
  10. Conyon, Martin J., 1997. "Corporate governance and executive compensation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 493-509, July.
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  16. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
  17. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
  18. Conyon, Martin J & Nicolitsas, Daphne, 1998. " Does the Market for Top Executives Work? CEO Pay and Turnover in Small U.K. Companies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 145-54, September.
  19. Phillip McKnight & Cyril Tomkins, 1999. "Top Executive Pay in the United Kingdom: A Corporate Governance Dilemma," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 223-243.
  20. Sherwin Rosen, 1990. "Contracts and the Market for Executives," NBER Working Papers 3542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2000. "Overeducation in the labor market: a meta-analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 149-158, April.
  22. Main, Brian G M & Bruce, Alistair & Buck, Trevor, 1996. "Total Board Remuneration and Company Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1627-44, November.
  23. Cosh, Andrew, 1975. "The Remuneration of Chief Executives in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 85(337), pages 75-94, March.
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  25. Gerald Garvey & Todd Milbourn, 2003. "Incentive Compensation When Executives Can Hedge the Market: Evidence of Relative Performance Evaluation in the Cross Section," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1557-1582, 08.
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