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Stock Grants as Commitment Device

  • Gian Luca Clementi
  • Thomas F. Cooley
  • Cheng Wang

A large and increasing fraction of the value of executives' compensation is accounted for by security grants. It is often argued that the optimal compensation contracts characterized in the theoretical literature can be implemented by means of stock or option grants. However, in most cases the optimal allocation can be implemented simply by a contingent sequence of cash payments. Security awards are redundant. In this paper we develop a dynamic model of managerial compensation where neither the firm nor the manager can commit to long-term contracts. We show that, in this environment, if stock grants are not used, then the optimal contract collapses to a series of short term contracts. When stock grants are used, however, nonlinear intertemporal schemes can be implemented to achieve better risk-sharing and larger firm value.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2002-E12.

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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1025802450
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
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  1. 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.
  2. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609, October.
  3. Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas F. Cooley, . "Sensitivity of CEO Pay to Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," GSIA Working Papers 2002-E13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
  5. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Working Papers 2342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Viral Acharya & Kose John & Rangarajan K. Sundaram, 1999. "On the Optimality of Resetting Executive Stock Options," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-087, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  7. Joseph G. Haubrich, 1991. "Risk aversion, performance pay, and the principal-agent problem," Working Paper 9118, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  8. Wang, C., 1995. "Incentives, CEO Compensation, and Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," GSIA Working Papers 1995-08, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  9. MUKOYAMA, Toshihiko & SAHIN, Aysegül, 2004. "Repeated Moral Hazard with Persistence," Cahiers de recherche 01-2004, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  10. Manuel Santos & Jorge Aseff, . "Stock Options and Managerial Optimal Contracts," Working Papers 2133304, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  11. Jennifer N. Carpenter, 2000. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2311-2331, October.
  12. Phelan Christopher, 1995. "Repeated Moral Hazard and One-Sided Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 488-506, August.
  13. Jennifer Carpenter, 1999. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 99-076, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
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