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Executive Compensation, Incentives, and Risk

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  • Jenter, Dirk

Abstract

This paper analyzes the link between equity-based compensation and created incentives by (1) deriving a measure of incentives suitable for both linear and non-linear compensation contracts, (2) analyzing the effect of risk on incentives, and (3) clarifying the role of the agent's private trading decisions in incentive creation. With option-based compensation contracts, the average pay-forperformance sensitivity is not an adequate measure of ex-ante incentives. Pay-for-performance covaries negatively with marginal utility and hence overstates the created incentives. Second, more noise in the performance measure implies that the manager is less certain about the effect of effort on performance, which in turn makes her less willing to exert effort. Finally, the private trading decisions by the manager have first-order effects on incentives. By reducing her holdings of the market asset, the manager achieves an effect similar to "indexing" the stock or option grant, making explicit indexation of the contract redundant.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenter, Dirk, 2004. "Executive Compensation, Incentives, and Risk," Working papers 4466-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:7390
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/7390
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bergman, Nittai K. & Jenter, Dirk, 2007. "Employee sentiment and stock option compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 667-712, June.
    2. Carola Frydman & Dirk Jenter, 2010. "CEO Compensation," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 75-102, December.
    3. Avdjiev, Stefan & Zeng, Zheng, 2009. "Impact of heterogeneous managerial productivity on executive hedge markets in an asymmetric information environment," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 187-201, December.
    4. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2005. "Accounting, Governance, and Broad-Based Stock Option Grants," Research Papers 1821r1, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    5. Pierre Chaigneau, 2012. "The Effect of Risk Preferences on the Valuation and Incentives of Compensation Contracts," Cahiers de recherche 1209, CIRPEE.
    6. Inderst, Roman & Mueller, Holger M, 2006. "CEO Compensation and Strategy Inertia," CEPR Discussion Papers 5713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Carpenter, Jennifer N. & Stanton, Richard & Wallace, Nancy, 2010. "Optimal exercise of executive stock options and implications for firm cost," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 315-337, November.
    8. Dirk Jenter & Fadi Kanaan, 2015. "CEO Turnover and Relative Performance Evaluation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(5), pages 2155-2184, October.
    9. Inci, A. Can, 2012. "Insider trading activity, tenure length, and managerial compensation," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 151-166.
    10. Maug, Ernst & Dittmann, Ingolf, 2007. "Lower Salaries and No Options: The Optimal Structure of Executive Pay," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-41, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universit├Ąt Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    11. Kuang, Y., 2007. "Incentive effects of performance-vested stock options," Other publications TiSEM 18dd1758-4773-426f-98f3-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2006. "Costs of broad-based stock option plans," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 511-534, October.
    13. repec:oup:revfin:v:21:y:2017:i:5:p:1805-1846. is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Paul Oyer & Scott Schaefer, 2004. "Compensating Employees Below the Executive Ranks: A Comparison of Options, Restricted Stock, and Cash," NBER Working Papers 10221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Pierre Chaigneau, 2012. "The effect of risk preferences on the valuation and incentives of compensation contracts," FMG Discussion Papers dp697, Financial Markets Group.
    16. Barron, John M. & Waddell, Glen R., 2008. "Work hard, not smart: Stock options in executive compensation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(3-4), pages 767-790, June.
    17. Ingolf Dittmann & Ko-Chia Yu & Dan Zhang, 2017. "How Important Are Risk-Taking Incentives in Executive Compensation?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(5), pages 1805-1846.

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    Keywords

    executive compensation; equity-based compensation; created incentives;

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