Compensation and Incentives in german Corporations
In this paper we analyze executive compensation in Germany for the period 2005-2009. We use a self-collected dataset on compensation arrangements in German corporations to estimate the impact of firm performance and firm risk on executive pay. To be in line with earlier studies in this literature, we first measure firm performance and firm risk based on stock market returns. Our findings support the prediction from agency theory that incentive pay decreases with firm risk. We find, however, that stock market returns have no explanatory power in the presence of accounting based performance measures. Based on accounting data we also find a positive impact of firm performance on executive pay and a negative relationship between firm risk and incentive pay for our sample period. We conclude that shareholders use accounting measures rather than stock market data to evaluate and pay for manager performance. We also find that with accounting data we can explain short-term bonus payments but not long-term oriented compensation in German corporations.
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