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Why Taxing Executives' Bonuses Can Foster Risk-Taking Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Grossmann

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Markus Lang

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Helmut Dietl

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

Abstract

Bonus taxes have been implemented to prevent managers from taking excessive risks. This paper analyzes the effects of taxing executives' bonuses in a principal--agent model. Our model shows that, contrary to its intention, the introduction of a bonus tax intensifies managers' risk-taking behavior and decreases their effort. The principal responds to a bonus tax by offering the manager a higher fixed salary but a lower incentive-based component (bonus rate).

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Grossmann & Markus Lang & Helmut Dietl, 2011. "Why Taxing Executives' Bonuses Can Foster Risk-Taking Behavior," Working Papers 0150, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised May 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:wpaper:0150
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/ISU_WPS/150_ISU_full.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    2. Anthony M. Marino & Ján Zábojník, 2008. "Work-related perks, agency problems, and optimal incentive contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 565-585.
    3. Dietl, Helmut M. & Grossmann, Martin & Lang, Markus & Wey, Simon, 2013. "Incentive effects of bonus taxes in a principal-agent model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 93-104.
    4. Michael Faulkender & Dalida Kadyrzhanova & N. Prabhala & Lemma Senbet, 2010. "Executive Compensation: An Overview of Research on Corporate Practices and Proposed Reforms," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 107-118.
    5. James A. Mirrlees, 1976. "The Optimal Structure of Incentives and Authority Within an Organization," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 105-131, Spring.
    6. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
    7. Thanassoulis John, 2009. "Now Is the Right Time to Regulate Bankers' Pay," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 6(5), pages 1-4, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Diego d'Andria & Ivan Savin, 2015. "Motivating innovation in a knowledge economy with tax incentives," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-004, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Hilmer, Michael, 2014. "Too many to fail - How bonus taxation prevents gambling for bailouts," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100552, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Hilmer, Michael, 2013. "Fiscal treatment of managerial compensation - a welfare analysis," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79703, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Michael Hilmer, 2014. "Bailouts, Bonuses and Bankers' Short-Termism," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-17, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    5. Melanie Steinhoff, 2015. "Management Compensation, Monitoring and Aggressive Corporate Tax Planning," CQE Working Papers 4115, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
    6. Steinhoff, Melanie, 2015. "Management compensation, monitoring and aggressive corporate tax planning," CAWM Discussion Papers 83, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).
    7. Diego d'Andria, 2016. "Taxation and Incentives to Innovate: A Principal-Agent Approach," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 72(1), pages 96-123, March.
    8. repec:eee:tefoso:v:127:y:2018:i:c:p:38-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Michael Hilmer, 2014. "Too Many to Fail - How Bonus Taxation Prevents Gambling for Bailouts," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-18, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Principal-agent model; bonus tax; risk-taking; executive compensation; financial regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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