Risk aversion, performance pay, and the principal-agent problem
This paper calculates numerical solutions to the principal-agent problem and compares the results to the stylized facts of CEO compensation. The numerical predictions come from parameterizing the models of Grossman and Hart and of Holmstrom and Milgrom. While the correct incentives for a CEO can greatly enhance a firm's performance, providing such incentives need not be expensive. For many parameter values, CEO compensation need only increase by about $10 for every $1,000 of additional shareholder value; for some values, the amount is 0.003 cents. The paper thus answers two challenges posed by Jensen: that principal-agent theory does not yield quantitative predictions, and that CEO compensation is insufficiently sensitive to firm performance.
|Date of creation:||1991|
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- Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
- Baker, George P & Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1988.
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- Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, .
"An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Kandel, Shmuel & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1991.
"Asset returns and intertemporal preferences,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 39-71, February.
- Sheshinski, Eytan, 1989. "Note on the shape of the optimum income tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 201-215, November.
- J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
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