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Relative Performance Evaluation For Chief Executive Officers

  • GIBBONS, R.
  • MURPHY, K.J.

Relative performance evaluation (RPE) provides employees with an incentive to perform well while insulating their compensation from shocks that also affect the performances of other workers in the same firm, industry, or market. This paper reviews the benefits and costs of RPE and tests for the presence of RPE in the compensation contracts of chief executive officers (CEOs) using data on 1,668 CEOs from 1,049 corporations from 1974 to 1986. The results, in contrast to the findings of previous research, strongly support the hypothesis that RPE is used in compensation and retention decisions affecting CEOs: the revision in a CEO's pay and the probability that a CEO remains in his position for the following year are positively and significantly related to firm performance, but are negatively and significantly related to industry and market performance. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 532.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 1989
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:532
Contact details of provider: Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
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Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/

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  1. Bengt Holmstrom, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1205, David K. Levine.
  2. Randall Morck & Andrel Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Alternative Mechanisms for Corporate Control," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 52, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  4. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  5. Dye, Ronald A, 1984. "The Trouble with Tournaments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(1), pages 147-49, January.
  6. Mookherjee, Dilip, 1984. "Optimal Incentive Schemes with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 433-46, July.
  7. Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Discussion Papers 471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  9. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1988. "Incentives in Academics: Why Is There Tenure?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 453-72, June.
  10. Weisbach, Michael S., 1988. "Outside directors and CEO turnover," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 431-460, January.
  11. Murphy, Kevin J., 1985. "Corporate performance and managerial remuneration : An empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 11-42, April.
  12. Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Performance Pay And Top Management Incentives," Papers 88-04, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  13. Wolfson, Mark A, 1985. "Tax, Incentive, and Risk-sharing Issues in the Allocation of Property Rights: The Generalized Lease-or-Buy Problem," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 159-71, April.
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