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Is Capping Executive Bonuses Useful?

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  • Kentaro Asai

Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical framework to study the impact of bonus caps on banks’ risk taking. In the model, labor market price adjustments can offset the direct effects of bonus caps. The calibrated model suggests that bonus caps are only effective when bank executives’ mobility is restricted. It also suggests, irrespective of the degree of labor market mobility, bonus caps simultaneously reduce risk shifting by bank executives (too much risk taking because of limited liability), but aggravate underinvestment (bank executives foregoing risky but productive projects). Hence, the welfare effects of bonus caps critically depend on initial conditions, including the relative importance of risk shifting versus underinvestment.

Suggested Citation

  • Kentaro Asai, 2016. "Is Capping Executive Bonuses Useful?," IMF Working Papers 16/196, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:16/196
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fabienne Llense, 2010. "French CEOs' Compensations: What is the Cost of a Mandatory Upper Limit?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(2), pages 165-191, June.
    2. Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Edward J. Kane, 2002. "Deposit Insurance Around the Globe: Where Does It Work?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 175-195, Spring.
    3. Fabienne Llense, 2010. "French CEOs' Compensations: What is the Cost of a Mandatory Upper Limit?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00497583, HAL.
    4. Boyd, John H. & Hakenes, Hendrik, 2014. "Looting and risk shifting in banking crises," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 43-64.
    5. Chen, Carl R. & Steiner, Thomas L. & Whyte, Ann Marie, 2006. "Does stock option-based executive compensation induce risk-taking? An analysis of the banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 915-945, March.
    6. Hagendorff, Jens & Vallascas, Francesco, 2011. "CEO pay incentives and risk-taking: Evidence from bank acquisitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1078-1095, September.
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