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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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Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 with number 149.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:149
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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 5554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lazear, Edward, 2003. "Output-Based Pay: Incentives, Retention or Sorting?," IZA Discussion Papers 761, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Rajesh Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paul L. Joskow & Nancy L. Rose & Catherin D. Wolfram, 1994. "Political Constraints on Executive Compensation: Evidence from the Electric Utility Industry," NBER Working Papers 4980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  7. Kato, Takao, 1997. "Chief executive compensation and corporate groups in Japan: New evidence from micro data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 455-467, July.
  8. Volker Grossmann, 2003. "Managerial Job Assignment and Imperfect Competition in Asymmetric Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 914, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. 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 225-64, April.
  10. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1997. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," NBER Working Papers 6213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Baltagi, Badi H. & Wu, Ping X., 1999. "Unequally Spaced Panel Data Regressions With Ar(1) Disturbances," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(06), pages 814-823, December.
  12. Conyon, Martin J., 1997. "Corporate governance and executive compensation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 493-509, July.
  13. Kraft, Kornelius & Niederprum, Antonia, 1999. "Determinants of management compensation with risk-averse agents and dispersed ownership of the firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 17-27, September.
  14. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521818551 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. John E. Core & Wayne R. Guay & David F. Larcker, 2003. "Executive equity compensation and incentives: a survey," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 27-50.
  17. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
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