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Taxation and Regulation of Bonus Pay

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  • Timothy Besley
  • Maitreesh Ghatak

Abstract

We explore the consequence for taxation and regulation of bonus pay when investors are protected by taxpayers from downside risk. The paper develops a model where workers in financial sector firms make decisions about effort and risktaking which are influenced by the structure of bonus pay. Bailouts lead to too little effort, too much risk-taking and increase inequality. We show that the optimal structure of bonuses can be implemented by a combination of a regulation on the structure of bonuses and a tax on their level.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2011. "Taxation and Regulation of Bonus Pay," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 030, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Pandey, Priyanka, 2000. "Contract choice in agriculture with joint moral hazard in effort and risk," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 303-326, December.
    2. Patrick Bolton & Hamid Mehran & Joel Shapiro, 2015. "Executive Compensation and Risk Taking," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(6), pages 2139-2181.
    3. Hendrik Hakenes & Isabel Schnabel, 2014. "Bank Bonuses and Bailouts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(s1), pages 259-288, February.
    4. Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Altruism, the Samaritan's Dilemma, and Government Transfer Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 46-57, March.
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    7. Emmanuel Farhi & Jean Tirole, 2012. "Collective Moral Hazard, Maturity Mismatch, and Systemic Bailouts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 60-93, February.
    8. John, Kose & Saunders, Anthony & Senbet, Lemma W, 2000. "A Theory of Bank Regulation and Management Compensation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 95-125.
    9. Palomino, Frederic & Prat, Andrea, 2003. " Risk Taking and Optimal Contracts for Money Managers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 113-137, Spring.
    10. Doina Radulescu, 2012. "The Effects of a Bonus Tax on Manager Compensation and Welfare," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 68(1), pages 1-16, March.
    11. John Thanassoulis, 2011. "Bankers' Pay Structure And Risk," Economics Series Working Papers 545, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Bell, Brian, 2010. "Bankers' bonuses," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57934, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. John Thanassoulis, 2011. "The Case For Intervening In Bankers' Pay," Economics Series Working Papers 532, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bijlsma, Michiel & Boone, Jan & Zwart, Gijsbert, 2012. "Competition for traders and risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 8816, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Dietl, Helmut M. & Grossmann, Martin & Lang, Markus & Wey, Simon, 2013. "Incentive effects of bonus taxes in a principal-agent model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 93-104.
    3. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2016. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 305-370.

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    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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