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Compensation and Recruiting: Private Universities versus Private Corporations

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  • Cornell, Bradford

Abstract

This paper attempts to shed light on the continuing debate regarding executive compensation by comparing the income of S&P 500 CEOs with that of the Presidents of elite private universities. The results reveal that university presidents are paid only a fraction of what CEOs are paid – less than 5% in 2000. Nonetheless, universities are able to attract leaders with qualifications and accomplishments equivalent to that of the most distinguished CEOs. Furthermore, university presidents appear to be willing to work as hard and as much in the interests of their constituents as corporate CEOs despite the lack of any meaningful incentive clauses in their contracts. These results suggest that the standard principal agent model used in evaluating compensation needs to be extended significantly before it can be applied to situations in a few select people are recruited for highly paid and visible jobs that offer the chance to lead major institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornell, Bradford, 2002. "Compensation and Recruiting: Private Universities versus Private Corporations," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt6z76z49q, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:anderf:qt6z76z49q
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    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. repec:fth:prinin:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    4. John M. Abowd & Michael Bognanno, 1995. "International Differences in Executive and Managerial Compensation," NBER Chapters,in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 67-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John M. Abowd & David S. Kaplan, 1999. "Executive Compensation: Six Questions That Need Answering," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 145-168, Fall.
    6. 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 225-264, April.
    7. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2000. "Agents with and without Principals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 203-208, May.
    8. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Agents with and without Principals," Working Papers 809, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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