The Option To Quit: The Effect Of Employee Stock Options On Turnover
We show that in the years following a large broad-based employee stock option (BBSO) grant, employee turnover falls at the granting firm. We find evidence consistent with a causal relation by exploiting unexpected changes in the value of unvested options. A large fraction of the reduction in turnover appears to be temporary with turnover increasing in the 3rd year following the year of the adoption of the BBSO plan. We also find that the effect of BBSO plans is larger at market leaders, identified as firms with high industry-adjusted market-to-book ratios, market share or industry-adjusted profit margins, as measured at the time of the grant.
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