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A Corporate Governance Reform As A Natural Experiment For Incentive Contracts


  • Carsten Burhop
  • Christian Bayer


We use a major shift in the legal and institutional environment to identify contractual incentives from the correlation of executive pay and performance. We take the reform of the German stock companies act in 1884 as such a major shift, and estimate the sensitivity of pay to performance between 1870 and 1910 for executives of nine large banks. the reform substantially enhanced corporate control and strengthened monitoring incentives. Accordingly, we find the pay-performance sensitivity decreases significantly after the reform. Executives received a bonus of M29 per M1,000, increasing profits before 1884, but after the reform the sensitivity decreased by two-thirds.
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  • Carsten Burhop & Christian Bayer, 2004. "A Corporate Governance Reform As A Natural Experiment For Incentive Contracts," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 149, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:149

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Bayer & Carsten Burhop, 2005. "If only I could sack you! Management turnover and performance in large German Banks between 1874 and 1913," Economic History 0502006, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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