IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found ( [301 Moved Permanently]--> If this is indeed the case, please notify (Anki Helmer)

Download Restriction: no

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

in new window

Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 15 Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sifrwp:0043
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institute for Financial Research Drottninggatan 89, SE-113 60 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-728-5120
Fax: +46-8-728-5130
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  2. Philip H. Dybvig & Jaime F. Zender, 1988. "Capital Structure and dividend Irrelevance with Asymmetric Information," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 878, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 1982. "Pensions as Severance Pay," NBER Working Papers 0944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Huson, Mark R. & Malatesta, Paul H. & Parrino, Robert, 2004. "Managerial succession and firm performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 237-275, November.
  6. Joshua D. Rauh, 2006. "Investment and Financing Constraints: Evidence from the Funding of Corporate Pension Plans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 33-71, 02.
  7. Lucian A. Bebchuk & Robert J. Jackson, Jr., 2005. "Executive Pensions," NBER Working Papers 11907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  9. Dewatripont, Mathias & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-54, November.
  10. Gustman, A.L. & Mitchell, O.S. & Steinmeier, T.L., 1993. "The Role of Pensions in the Labor Market," Papers 93-07, Cornell - Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
  11. Warner, Jerold B. & Watts, Ross L. & Wruck, Karen H., 1988. "Stock prices and top management changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 461-492, January.
  12. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
  13. Dechow, Patricia M. & Sloan, Richard G., 1991. "Executive incentives and the horizon problem : An empirical investigation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 51-89, March.
  14. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Olivia Mitchell, 1994. "The role of pensions in the labor market: A survey of the literature," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 417-438, April.
  15. Alan Gustman & Thomas Steinmeier, 1990. "Pension Portability and Labor Mobility: Evidence From the Survey of Income and Program Participation," NBER Working Papers 3525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  17. Murphy, K.J. & Gibbons, R., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns : Theory and Evidence," Papers 90-09, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  18. John Core, 2002. "Estimating the Value of Employee Stock Option Portfolios and Their Sensitivities to Price and Volatility," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 613-630, 06.
  19. Hellwig, Martin F., 2009. "A reconsideration of the Jensen-Meckling model of outside finance," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 495-525, October.
  20. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1993. "Pensions, Bonding, and Lifetime Jobs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 463-481.
  21. John, Teresa A & John, Kose, 1993. " Top-Management Compensation and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 949-74, July.
  22. Yermack, David, 2006. "Golden handshakes: Separation pay for retired and dismissed CEOs," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 237-256, September.
  23. Bryan, Stephen & Hwang, LeeSeok & Lilien, Steven, 2000. "CEO Stock-Based Compensation: An Empirical Analysis of Incentive-Intensity, Relative Mix, and Economic Determinants," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(4), pages 661-93, October.
  24. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2005. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," NBER Working Papers 11280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Yermack, David, 1995. "Do corporations award CEO stock options effectively?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 237-269.
  26. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  27. Ippolito, Richard A, 1985. "The Economic Function of Underfunded Pension Plans," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 611-51, October.
  28. Richard A. Ippolito, 1991. "Encouraging long-term tenure: Wage tilt or pensions?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 520-535, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:sifrwp:0043. 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: (Anki Helmer)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.