EVA versus Earnings: Does it Matter which is More Highly Correlated with Stock Returns?
Dissatisfaction with traditional accounting-based performance measures has spawned a number of alternatives, of which Economic Value Added (EVA) is clearly the most prominent. How can we tell which performance measures best capture managerial contributions to value? There is currently a heated debate among practitioners as to whether the new performance measures have a higher correlation with stock values and returns than do traditional accounting earnings. Academic researchers have instead relied on the variance of performance measures to gauge their relative accuracy. Our analysis pits EVA against earnings as two candidate performance measures. We use a relatively standard principal-agent model, but recognize that while the variability of each measure is observable, their exact information (signal) content is not. The model provides a formal method for ascertaining the relative value of such measures based on two distinct uses of the stock price. First, as is well-known, prices provide a noisy measure of managerial value-added. Our novel insight is that stock prices can also reveal the signal content of alternative accounting-based performance measures. We then show how to combine stock prices, earnings, and EVA to produce an optimally weighted compensation scheme. Surprisingly, we find that the simple correlation between EVA or earnings and stock returns is a reasonably reliable guide to their value as an incentive contracting tool. This is not because stock returns are themselves an ideal performance measure, rather it is because correlation places appropriate weights on both the signal and noise components of alternative measures. We then calibrate the theoretical improvement in incentive contracts from optimally using EVA in addition to accounting earnings at the firm and industry level. That is, we empirically estimate the "value-added" of EVA by firm and industry. These estimates are positive and significant in predicting which firms have actually adopted EVA as an internal performance measure.
|Date of creation:||2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (909) 607-3041
Fax: (909) 621-8249
Web page: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010.
"A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1193, David K. Levine.
- Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
- Michael C. Jensen & Kevin J. Murphy, 2010.
"CEO Incentives-It's Not How Much You Pay, But How,"
Journal of Applied Corporate Finance,
Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 64-76.
- Michael C. Jensen & Kevin J. Murphy, 1990. "Ceo Incentives - It'S Not How Much You Pay, But How," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 3(3), pages 36-49.
- Sloan, Richard G., 1993. "Accounting earnings and top executive compensation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-3), pages 55-100, April.
- 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.
- Rajesh Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998.
"The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation,"
NBER Working Papers
6634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "The Other Side of the Trade-off: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 65-105, February.
- Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-39, May.
- Robert T. Kleiman, 1999. "Some New Evidence On Eva Companies," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 12(2), pages 80-91.
- Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
- Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-99, December.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1997.
"Moral Hazard and Observability,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1205, David K. Levine.
- Paul, Jonathan M, 1992. "On the Efficiency of Stock-Based Compensation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 471-502.
- Joseph G. Haubrich, 1991.
"Risk aversion, performance pay, and the principal-agent problem,"
9118, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Haubrich, Joseph G, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Performance Pay, and the Principal-Agent Problem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 258-76, April.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987.
"Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives,"
Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
- Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Yermack, David, 1995. "Do corporations award CEO stock options effectively?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 237-269.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2000-52. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.