IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedgfe/2001-57.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who benefits from a bull market? an analysis of employee stock option grants and stock prices

Author

Listed:
  • J. Nellie Liang
  • Scott Weisbenner

Abstract

Stock option grants to top executives and to employees below the top executive ranks have risen rapidly with stock prices in recent years. This paper examines the growth in stock option grants at S&P 1500 companies between 1996 and 1999, and estimates the pay-for-performance sensitivities of the value of new option grants for top executives and, separately, for employees below the top executive levels. In our framework, options are a reward for past performance, leading to a positive relationship between firms' stock prices and the value of new option grants. We find substantial sensitivities for both sets of employees, but they are larger for employees below the top executive levels. Moreover, in contrast to top executives, the sensitivities for employees below the senior management levels do not differ by whether firm stock prices have risen or fallen. The greater sensitivity of option grant values to stock prices for employees below the top ranks is consistent with greater demand for options following price increases, and less willingness to accept options when past performance has been poor. We also find that new grants at larger firms are related to industry performance, consistent with more competitive markets for top executive talent to manage large organizations as industry conditions improve.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2001. "Who benefits from a bull market? an analysis of employee stock option grants and stock prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-57
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2001/200157/200157abs.html
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2001/200157/200157pap.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. Nellie Liang & Steven A. Sharpe, 1999. "Share repurchases and employee stock options and their implications for S&P 500 share retirements and expected returns," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-59, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Hall, Brian J. & Murphy, Kevin J., 2002. "Stock options for undiversified executives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-42, February.
    3. Aboody, David, 1996. "Market valuation of employee stock options," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 357-391, October.
    4. Yermack, David, 1997. " Good Timing: CEO Stock Option Awards and Company News Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 449-476, June.
    5. Huberman, Gur, 2001. "Familiarity Breeds Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 659-680.
    6. Mark C. Anderson & Rajiv D. Banker & Sury Ravindran, 2000. "Executive Compensation in the Information Technology Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 530-547, April.
    7. DeFusco, Richard A & Johnson, Robert R & Zorn, Thomas S, 1990. " The Effect of Executive Stock Option Plans on Stockholders and Bondholders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 617-627, June.
    8. Core, John E. & Guay, Wayne R., 2001. "Stock option plans for non-executive employees," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 253-287, August.
    9. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan & Wermers, Russ, 1995. "Momentum Investment Strategies, Portfolio Performance, and Herding: A Study of Mutual Fund Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
    10. Yermack, David, 1995. "Do corporations award CEO stock options effectively?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 237-269.
    11. Paul Oyer, 2004. "Why Do Firms Use Incentives That Have No Incentive Effects?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1619-1650, August.
    12. Shlomo Benartzi, 2001. "Excessive Extrapolation and the Allocation of 401(k) Accounts to Company Stock," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1747-1764, October.
    13. 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.
    14. Core, John & Guay, Wayne, 1999. "The use of equity grants to manage optimal equity incentive levels," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 151-184, December.
    15. Carpenter, Jennifer N., 1998. "The exercise and valuation of executive stock options," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 127-158, May.
    16. Scott Weisbenner, 2000. "Corporate share repurchases in the 1990s: what role do stock options play?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    17. Brian J. Hall, 1998. "The Pay to Performance Incentives of Executive Stock Options," NBER Working Papers 6674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Garen, John E, 1994. "Executive Compensation and Principal-Agent Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1175-1199, December.
    19. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
    20. Huddart, Steven & Lang, Mark, 1996. "Employee stock option exercises an empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 5-43, February.
    21. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Liang, Nellie & Weisbenner, Scott, 2006. "401(k) matching contributions in company stock: Costs and benefits for firms and workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1315-1346, August.
    2. Peter Roosenboom & Tjalling van der Goot, 2006. "Broad-based employee stock options grants and IPO firms," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(12), pages 1343-1351.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stock - Prices ; Stocks;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-57. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Franz Osorio). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbgvus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.