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Managerial compensation, regulation and risk in banks: theory and evidence from the financial crisis

Listed author(s):
  • Vittoria Cerasi
  • Tommaso Oliviero

This paper analyzes the relation between CEOs monetary incentives, financial regulation and risk in banks. We present a model where banks lend to opaque entrepreneurial projects to be monitored by managers; managers are remunerated according to a pay-for-performance scheme and their effort is unobservable to depositors and shareholders. Within a prudential regulatory framework that defines a capital requirement and a deposit insurance, we study the effect of increasing the variable component of managerial compensation on risk taking. We then test empirically how monetary incentives provided to CEOs in 2006 affected banks’ stock price and volatility during the 2007-2008 financial crisis on a sample of large banks around the World. The cross-country dimension of our sample allows us to study the interaction between CEO incentives and financial regulation. The empirical analysis suggests that the sensitivity of CEOs equity portfolios to stock prices and volatility has been indeed related to worse performance in countries with explicit deposit insurance and weaker monitoring by shareholders. This evidence is coherent with the main prediction of the model, that is, the variable part of the managerial compensation, combined with weak insiders’ monitoring, exacerbates the risk-shifting attitude by managers.

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File URL: http://dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper279.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 279.

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Length: 52
Date of creation: Jul 2014
Date of revision: Jul 2014
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:279
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  1. Vittoria Cerasi & Sonja Daltung, 2006. "Financial Structure, Managerial Compensation and Monitoring," Working Papers 20061102, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Statistica.
  2. Marco Becht & Patrick Bolton & Ailsa Röell, 2011. "Why bank governance is different," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 437-463.
  3. Patrick Bolton & Hamid Mehran & Joel Shapiro, 2015. "Executive Compensation and Risk Taking," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(6), pages 2139-2181.
  4. Fahlenbrach, Rüdiger & Stulz, René M., 2011. "Bank CEO incentives and the credit crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 11-26, January.
  5. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-488, June.
  6. Hamid Mehran & Alan Morrison & Joel Shapiro, 2011. "Corporate governance and banks: what have we learned from the financial crisis?," Staff Reports 502, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. 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.
  8. Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2009. "Bank governance, regulation and risk taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 259-275, August.
  9. Asli Demirguc‐Kunt & Enrica Detragiache & Ouarda Merrouche, 2013. "Bank Capital: Lessons from the Financial Crisis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(6), pages 1147-1164, 09.
  10. John, Kose & Saunders, Anthony & Senbet, Lemma W, 2000. "A Theory of Bank Regulation and Management Compensation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 95-125.
  11. John, Teresa A & John, Kose, 1993. " Top-Management Compensation and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 949-974, July.
  12. Caprio, Gerard & Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2007. "Governance and bank valuation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 584-617, October.
  13. Cerasi, Vittoria & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2014. "Rethinking the regulatory treatment of securitization," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 10(C), pages 20-31.
  14. Andrew Ellul & Vijay Yerramilli, 2013. "Stronger Risk Controls, Lower Risk: Evidence from U.S. Bank Holding Companies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(5), pages 1757-1803, October.
  15. 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.
  16. Keeley, Michael C, 1990. "Deposit Insurance, Risk, and Market Power in Banking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1183-1200, December.
  17. Kose John & Yiming Qian, 2003. "Incentive features in CEO compensation in the banking industry," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 109-121.
  18. Beltratti, Andrea & Stulz, René M., 2012. "The credit crisis around the globe: Why did some banks perform better?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 1-17.
  19. John, Kose & Mehran, Hamid & Qian, Yiming, 2010. "Outside monitoring and CEO compensation in the banking industry," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 383-399, September.
  20. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
  21. Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2004. "Macroeconomic shocks and banking supervision," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 93-110, September.
  22. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Karacaovali, Baybars & Laeven, Luc, 2005. "Deposit insurance around the world : a comprehensive database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3628, The World Bank.
  23. Elazar Berkovitch & Ronen Israel & Yossef Spiegel, 2000. "Managerial Compensation and Capital Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 549-584, December.
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