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Managerial Incentives and Stock Price Manipulation


  • Peng, Lin
  • Röell, Ailsa A


This paper presents a rational expectations model of optimal executive compensation in a setting where managers are in a position to manipulate short-term stock prices, and managers' propensity to manipulate is uncertain. Stock-based incentives elicit not only productive effort, but also costly information manipulation. We analyze the tradeoffs involved in conditioning pay on long- versus short-term performance and characterize a second-best optimal compensation scheme. The paper shows manipulation, and investors' uncertainty about it, affects the equilibrium pay contract and the informational efficiency of asset prices. The paper derives a range of new cross-sectional comparative static results and sheds light on corporate governance regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Peng, Lin & Röell, Ailsa A, 2009. "Managerial Incentives and Stock Price Manipulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7442, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7442

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ulf Axelson & Sandeep Baliga, 2009. "Liquidity and Manipulation of Executive Compensation Schemes," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 3907-3939, October.
    2. Bergstresser, Daniel & Philippon, Thomas, 2006. "CEO incentives and earnings management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 511-529, June.
    3. Shane A. Johnson & Harley E. Ryan & Yisong S. Tian, 2009. "Managerial Incentives and Corporate Fraud: The Sources of Incentives Matter," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 13(1), pages 115-145.
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      ," Papers 07-41, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    5. Patrick Bolton & Jose Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2006. "Pay for Short-Term Performance: Executive Compensation in Speculative Markets," NBER Working Papers 12107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Simi Kedia & Thomas Philippon, 2009. "The Economics of Fraudulent Accounting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2169-2199, June.
    7. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
    8. Lin Peng & Ailsa Röell, 2008. "Executive pay and shareholder litigation," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(1), pages 141-184.
    9. Bizjak, John M. & Brickley, James A. & Coles, Jeffrey L., 1993. "Stock-based incentive compensation and investment behavior," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-3), pages 349-372, April.
    10. Efraim Benmelech & Eugene Kandel & Pietro Veronesi, 2010. "Stock-Based Compensation and CEO (Dis)Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1769-1820.
    11. Goldman, Eitan & Slezak, Steve L., 2006. "An equilibrium model of incentive contracts in the presence of information manipulation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 603-626, June.
    12. Ingolf Dittmann & Ernst Maug, 2007. "Lower Salaries and No Options? On the Optimal Structure of Executive Pay," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 303-343, February.
    13. 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.
    14. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2009. "A Multiplicative Model of Optimal CEO Incentives in Market Equilibrium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 4881-4917, December.
    15. Narayanan, M P, 1985. "Observability and the Payback Criterion," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3), pages 309-323, July.
    16. Lin Peng & Ailsa Roell, 2008. "Manipulation and Equity-Based Compensation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 285-290, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aitken, Michael & Cumming, Douglas & Zhan, Feng, 2015. "High frequency trading and end-of-day price dislocation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 330-349.
    2. Laux, Volker, 2012. "Stock option vesting conditions, CEO turnover, and myopic investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 513-526.
    3. Aitken, Michael & Cumming, Douglas & Zhan, Feng, 2015. "Exchange trading rules, surveillance and suspected insider trading," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 311-330.
    4. Cumming, Douglas & Johan, Sofia & Li, Dan, 2011. "Exchange trading rules and stock market liquidity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 651-671, March.
    5. Bhagat, Sanjai & Bolton, Brian, 2014. "Financial crisis and bank executive incentive compensation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 313-341.
    6. Ingolf Dittmann & Ko-Chia Yu, 2009. "How Important Are Risk-Taking Incentives in Executive Compensation?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-076/2, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item


    corporate governance; Executive compensation; long- versus short-term; manipulation uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law

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