IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

CEO Power and Compensation in Financially Distressed Firms

Listed author(s):
  • Qiang Kang


    (Department of Finance, University of Miami)

  • Oscar A. Mitnik


    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

We study the changes in CEO power and compensation that arise when firms go through financial distress. We use a matching estimator to identify suitable controls and estimate the causal effects of financial distress for a sample of U.S. public companies from 1992 to 2005. We document that, relative to those in control firms, the CEOs of distressed firms experience significant reductions in total compensation; the bulk of this reduction derives from the decline in value of new grants of stock options. These results hold not only for incumbent CEOs but also, surprisingly, for newly hired CEOs. Financial distress has important consequences on corporate governance, decreasing managerial influence over the board. We find that, among distressed firms, there is a significant decrease in the proportion of CEOs holding board chairmanship, and in the fractions of executives serving as directors or in the compensation committee of the board. We also show that periods of financial distress are associated with a decrease in opportunistic timing behavior of stock option awards. The results are suggestive of a link between managerial power and executive 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:
File Function: First version, 2009
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-2.

in new window

Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Publication status: Published
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2010-2
Contact details of provider: Postal:
P.O. Box 248126, Coral Gables, FL 33124-6550

Phone: (305) 284-5540
Fax: (305) 284-2985
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

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:mia:wpaper:2010-2. 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: (Christopher Parmeter)

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.