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Banker compensation and bank risk taking: the organizational economics view

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  • Arantxa Jarque
  • Edward Simpson Prescott

Abstract

Models of banks operating under limited liability with deposit insurance and employee incentive problems are used to analyze how banker compensation contracts can contribute to bank risk shifting. The first model is a multi-agent, moral-hazard model, where each agent (e.g. a loan officer) operates a risky lending technology. Results differ from the single-agent model; pay for performance contracts do not necessarily indicate risk at the bank level. Correlation of returns is the most important factor. If loan officer returns are uncorrelated, the form of pay is irrelevant for risk. If returns are correlated, a low wage causes risk. If correlation is endogenous, relative performance contracts that encourage correlation of returns can create bank risk. A sufficient condition for a contract to induce risk at the bank level is provided. The second model adds a loan review and risk management function that affects risk characteristics of loan officers' loans. Counter to common perception, paying loan reviewers and risk managers for performance does not necessarily create risk. The model also identifies the importance of evaluating the quality of bank controls as a means for limiting bank risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Arantxa Jarque & Edward Simpson Prescott, 2013. "Banker compensation and bank risk taking: the organizational economics view," Working Paper 13-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:13-03
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    File URL: http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/working_papers/2013/pdf/wp13-03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keeley, Michael C. & Furlong, Frederick T., 1990. "A reexamination of mean-variance analysis of bank capital regulation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 69-84, March.
    2. Patrick Bolton & Hamid Mehran & Joel Shapiro, 2015. "Executive Compensation and Risk Taking," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(6), pages 2139-2181.
    3. Ing-Haw Cheng & Harrison Hong & Jose Scheinkman, 2010. "Yesterday's Heroes: Compensation and Creative Risk-Taking," NBER Chapters,in: Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Marshall, David A. & Prescott, Edward Simpson, 2006. "State-contingent bank regulation with unobserved actions and unobserved characteristics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2015-2049, November.
    5. Marshall, David A. & Prescott, Edward Simpson, 2001. "Bank capital regulation with and without state-contingent penalties," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 139-184, June.
    6. Arantxa Jarque & Edward Simpson Prescott, 2010. "Optimal bonuses and deferred pay for bank employees : implications of hidden actions with persistent effects in time," Working Paper 10-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bertay, Ata & Uras, Burak, 2016. "Leverage, Bank Employee Compensation and Institutions," Discussion Paper 2016-004, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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    Keywords

    Bank supervision;

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