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Incentives, CEO Compensation, and Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model

Listed author(s):
  • Wang, C.

M. Jensen and K. Murphy (1990,J. Polit. Econ.98, 225-264) argue that the observed pay-performance sensitivity of CEO compensation is too low to be consistent with formal agency theory. This paper uses a dynamic agency model to offer a resolution of the Jensen and Murphy puzzle. We show that the dynamic agency model can predict either a positive or a negative pay-performance sensitivity, depending on the parameter values of the model and the distribution of the CEOs' initial expected discounted utilities. For a large variety of parameter values and for properly chosen distributions of initial CEO expected discounted utilities, our model is capable of generating data where the pay-performance sensitivity is significantly positive but very small, as in Jensen and Murphy's data. The key to our result is a compensation rigidity that is created endogenously by the optimal dynamic contract.Journal of Economic LiteratureClassification Numbers: C63, D82, G30. *1 This paper was motivated by a conversation with Narayana Kocherlakota to whom I am also indebted for his advice. I thank Steve Williamson for his guidance and support. I thank the associate editor and three anonymous referees for their useful comments and suggestions. I am also grateful to Dean Corbae, Ed Green, Andreas Hornstein, Peter Howitt, Arthur Robson, Steve Spear, and seminar participants at the Universities of Iowa, Western Ontario, Rochester, Queen's, Chicago, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Iowa State, Toronto, Simon Fraser, Carnegie-Mellon, and Illinois for discussions and comments. Financial support from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada is acknowledged. *2 E. PrescottN. Wallace, Eds.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 1995-08.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 1995
Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1995-08
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

Web page: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/

Order Information: Web: http://student-3k.tepper.cmu.edu/gsiadoc/GSIA_WP.asp

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  1. Sonia Di Giannatale & Itza T. Q. Curiel & Juan A. Herrera & Katya Rodríguez, 2011. "Risk Aversion and the Pareto Frontier of a Dynamic Principal-Agent Model: An Evolutionary Approximation," Working papers DTE 521, CIDE, División de Economía.
  2. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  3. Stephen E. Spear & Sanjay Srivastava, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 258-276, April.
  6. repec:emc:wpaper:dte-531 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Amal Hili & Didier Laussel & Ngo Van Long, 2016. "Disentangling Managerial Incentives from a Dynamic Perspective: The Role of Stock Grants," CESifo Working Paper Series 6083, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Cheng Wang, 1995. "Dynamic Insurance with Private Information and Balanced Budgets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 577-595.
  9. Phelan Christopher, 1995. "Repeated Moral Hazard and One-Sided Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 488-506, August.
  10. Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Incentives and Aggregate Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 681-700.
  11. Jorge Aseff & Manuel Santos, 2005. "Stock options and managerial optimal contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(4), pages 813-837, November.
  12. Jarque, Arantxa & John, Muth, 2013. "Evaluating Executive Compensation Packages," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 251-285.
  13. Dilip Abreu & David Pearce & Ennio Stacchetti, 2010. "Towards a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Levine's Working Paper Archive 199, David K. Levine.
  14. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E. Lucas, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution With Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 427-453.
  15. Sonia B. Di Giannatale & Itza Curiel & Juan Herrera & Katya Rodriguez, 2010. "Aproximación con algoritmos evolutivos de la frontera de Pareto de un modelo dinámico de agente-principal con acciones discretas," Working papers DTE 476, CIDE, División de Economía.
  16. repec:emc:wpaper:dte-521 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Giorgio Canarella & Mahmoud M. Nourayi, 2008. "Executive compensation and firm performance: adjustment dynamics, non-linearity and asymmetry," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 293-315.
  18. Desrochers, Martin & Fischer, Klaus P., 2002. "Corporate Governance and Depository Institutions Failure: the Case of an Emerging Market Economy," Cahiers de recherche 0201, CIRPEE.
  19. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1990. "Toward a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1041-1063, September.
  20. Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-1199, December.
  21. Sonia Di Giannatale & Itza Curiel & Juan Herrera & Katya Rodríguez, 2012. "Productivity Shocks, Discount Rate and Incentives," Working papers DTE 531, CIDE, División de Economía.
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