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Executive compensation and product market competition


  • Cuñat, Vicente
  • Guadalupe, Maria


The aim of this paper is to study the effects of product market competition on the explicit compensation packages that firms offer to their executives. In order to measure the net effect of competition we use two different identification strategies. The first exploits cross sectoral variation in concentration ratios and the panel nature of the dataset. The second uses as a quasi-natural experiment the deregulations that occurred in the banking and financial sectors in the nineties and estimates differences in differences coefficients. Our results show that a higher level of product market competition increases the performance pay sensitivity of executive compensation schemes, and they hold through a number of performance measures such as stock options or bonus. The results are robust to a number of specification checks.

Suggested Citation

  • Cuñat, Vicente & Guadalupe, Maria, 2004. "Executive compensation and product market competition," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19985, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19985

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Do CEOs Set Their Own Pay? The Ones Without Principals Do," NBER Working Papers 7604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Fried, Jesse & Walker, David I, 2002. "Managerial Power and Rent Extraction in the Design of Executive Compensation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3558, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Michael Raith, 2003. "Competition, Risk, and Managerial Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1425-1436, September.
    4. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    5. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "Executive Compensation, Strategic Competition, and Relative Performance Evaluation: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 1999-2043, December.
    6. James A. Mirrlees, 1976. "The Optimal Structure of Incentives and Authority Within an Organization," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 105-131, Spring.
    7. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1998. "Are CEOs Really Paid Like Bureaucrats?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 653-691.
    8. Oliver D. Hart, 1983. "The Market Mechanism as an Incentive Scheme," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 366-382, Autumn.
    9. Boone, Jan, 2000. "Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
    11. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
    12. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    13. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    14. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932.
    15. Klaus M. Schmidt, 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 191-213.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Guadalupe, 2007. "Product Market Competition, Returns to Skill, and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 439-474.

    More about this item


    Executive compensation; product market competition; performance related pay;

    JEL classification:

    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance


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