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CEO Compensation and Strategy Inertia

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  • Inderst, Roman
  • Mueller, Holger M

Abstract

This paper considers the joint optimal design of CEOs' on-the-job compensation and severance pay in a general optimal contracting framework. We obtain a novel argument for high-powered, non-linear CEO compensation such as bonus schemes and option grants that is different from existing arguments based on moral hazard and risk taking. Based on this argument, the CEO's optimal on-the-job compensation scheme is designed to minimize the use of costly severance pay to reduce CEO entrenchment, thus minimizing the CEO's informational rents. Our model generates novel empirical predictions concerning the interrelation of CEOs' on-the-job compensation and severance pay as well as CEO turnover which, to the extent that they have been tested, are consistent with the empirical evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Inderst, Roman & Mueller, Holger M, 2006. "CEO Compensation and Strategy Inertia," CEPR Discussion Papers 5713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5713
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hori, Keiichi & Osano, Hiroshi, 2009. "Optimal timing of management turnover under agency problems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 1962-1980, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    CEO compensation; entrenchment; stock options;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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