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Pay Me Later: Inside Debt and Its Role in Managerial Compensation

  • Sundaram, Rangarajan K.

    ()

    (New York University)

  • Yermack, David

    ()

    (New York University)

Inside debt, such as pensions and deferred compensation, constitutes a widely-used form of executive compensation, yet the valuation and incentive effects of these instruments have been almost entirely overlooked by prior work. Our paper initiates this line of research by studying CEO pension arrangements in a sample of 237 large capitalization firms. Among our findings are that CEO compensation in most large cap firms exhibits a balance between debt- and equity-based incentives, with the balance shifting systematically away from equity and toward debt as CEOs growolder; that annual increases in pension entitlements represent about 10% of overall compensation for the CEOs in our sample, and about 15% for CEOs aged 61 to 65; that CEOs with high debt-based incentives manage their firms conservatively to reduce default risk; and that pension plan compensation strongly influences patterns of CEO turnover and CEO cash compensation.

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Paper provided by Institute for Financial Research in its series SIFR Research Report Series with number 43.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 15 Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sifrwp:0043
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