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Executive compensation and earnings management under moral hazard

Author

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  • Bo Sun

Abstract

This paper analyzes executive compensation in a setting where managers may take a costly action to manipulate corporate performance, and whether managers do so is stochastic. We examine how the opportunity to manipulate affects the optimal pay contract, and establish necessary and sufficient conditions under which earnings management occurs. Our model provides a set of implications on the role earnings management plays in driving the time-series and cross-sectional variation of executive compensation. In addition, the model's predictions regarding the changes of earnings management and executive pay in response to corporate governance legislation are consistent with empirical observations.

Suggested Citation

  • Bo Sun, 2009. "Executive compensation and earnings management under moral hazard," International Finance Discussion Papers 985, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:985
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/2009/985/default.htm
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:bla:joares:v:34:y:1996:i:1:p:45-65 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bergstresser, Daniel & Philippon, Thomas, 2006. "CEO incentives and earnings management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 511-529, June.
    3. Lacker, Jeffrey M & Weinberg, John A, 1989. "Optimal Contracts under Costly State Falsification," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1345-1363, December.
    4. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
    5. Alex Edmans & Xavier Gabaix & Tomasz Sadzik & Yuliy Sannikov, 2012. "Dynamic CEO Compensation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(5), pages 1603-1647, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Keith J. Crocker & Joel Slemrod, 2007. "The economics of earnings manipulation and managerial compensation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 698-713, September.
    8. Bayer, Christian & Burhop, Carsten, 2009. "Corporate governance and incentive contracts: Historical evidence from a legal reform," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 464-481, October.
    9. Palmrose, Zoe-Vonna & Richardson, Vernon J. & Scholz, Susan, 2004. "Determinants of market reactions to restatement announcements," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 59-89, February.
    10. Bartov, Eli & Givoly, Dan & Hayn, Carla, 2002. "The rewards to meeting or beating earnings expectations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 173-204, June.
    11. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
    12. 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.
    13. Holthausen, Robert W. & Larcker, David F. & Sloan, Richard G., 1995. "Annual bonus schemes and the manipulation of earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 29-74, February.
    14. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 2003. "Performance Incentives within Firms: The Effect of Managerial Responsibility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1613-1650, August.
    15. Burgstahler, David & Dichev, Ilia, 1997. "Earnings management to avoid earnings decreases and losses," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 99-126, December.
    16. Lin Peng & Ailsa Roell, 2008. "Manipulation and Equity-Based Compensation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 285-290, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Qi & Sun, Bo, 2015. "Managerial compensation under privately-observed hedging and earnings management," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 1-4.
    2. repec:ers:journl:v:xx:y:2017:i:2a:p:538-567 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bo Sun, 2013. "The optimal shape of compensation contracts with earnings management," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(21), pages 3102-3109, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Executives - Salaries;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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