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Stock-Based Compensation and CEO (Dis)Incentives

Author

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  • Benmelech, Efraim
  • Kandel, Eugene
  • Veronesi, Pietro

Abstract

Stock-based compensation is the standard solution to agency problems between shareholders and managers. In a dynamic rational expectations equilibrium model with asymmetric information we show that although stock-based compensation causes managers to work harder, it also induces them to hide any worsening of the firm’s investment opportunities by following largely sub-optimal investment policies. This problem is especially severe for growth firms, whose stock prices then become overvalued while managers hide the bad news to shareholders. We find that a firm-specific compensation package based on both stock and earnings performance instead induces a combination of high effort, truth revelation and optimal investments. The model produces numerous predictions that are consistent with the empirical evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Benmelech, Efraim & Kandel, Eugene & Veronesi, Pietro, 2007. "Stock-Based Compensation and CEO (Dis)Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 6515, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6515
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CEO compensation; Sub-optimal investments;

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy

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