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What Explains the Rise in CEO Pay in Germany? A Panel Data Analysis for 1977-2009

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  • Fabbri, Francesca
  • Marin, Dalia

Abstract

The compensation of executive board members in Germany has become a highly controversial topic since Vodafone's hostile takeover of Mannesmann in 2000 and it is again in the spotlight since the outbreak of the financial crisis of 2009. Based on unique panel data evidence of the 500 largest firms in Germany in the period 1977-2009 we test two prominent hypothesis in the literature on executive pay: the manager power hypothesis and the efficient pay hypothesis. We find support for the manager power hypothesis for Germany as executives tend to be rewarded when the sector is doing well rather than the firm they work for. We reject, however, the efficient pay hypothesis as CEO pay and the demand for managers increases in Germany in difficult times when the typical firm size shrinks. We find further that domestic and global competition for managers has contributed to the rise in executive pay in Germany. Lastly, we show that CEOs in the banking sector are provided with incentives for performance and that the great recession of 2009 acted as a disciplining device on CEO pay in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabbri, Francesca & Marin, Dalia, 2012. "What Explains the Rise in CEO Pay in Germany? A Panel Data Analysis for 1977-2009," CEPR Discussion Papers 8879, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8879
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marin, Dalia & Schymik, Jan & Tarasov, Alexander, 2014. "Trade in Tasks and the Organization of Firms," Discussion Papers in Economics 21741, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. K. Sommerfeld, 2013. "Higher and higher? Performance pay and wage inequality in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(30), pages 4236-4247, October.
    3. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2016. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 305-370.
    4. Arnd Kölling, 2014. "Labor Demand and Unequal Payment: Does Wage Inequality matter? Analyzing the Influence of Intra-firm Wage Dispersion on Labor Demand with German Employer-Employee Data," Working Paper Series in Economics 326, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    CEO pay in banks; CEO pay in the financial crisis; domestic and global competition for managers; efficient pay hypothesis; manager power hypothesis;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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