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Agency, Delayed Compensation, and the Structure of Executive Remuneration

  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Harvey S. Rosen

In this paper we examine the factors affecting the structure of executives' compensation packages. We focus particularly on the role of various types of delayed compensation as means of "bonding" executives to their firms. The basic problem is to design a compensation package that rewards actions that are in the long-run interest of the stockholders. Firms must take into account (1) their ability to discern unfortunate circumstances from mismanagement; (2) the extent to which a compensation package forces the executive to face risks, beyond his control; and (3) the willingness of a given executive to bear this risk. We use our theory to interpret some executive compensation data from the early 1970's. The results are generally in line with the theoretical predictions.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0777.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0777.

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Date of creation: Oct 1981
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Publication status: published as Eaton, Jonathan and Harvey S. Rosen. "Agency, Delayed Compensaton, and the Structure of Executive Remuneration." Journal of Finance, Vol. 38, No. 5, ( December 1983), pp. 1489-1505.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0777
Note: PE LS
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  1. Wilbur G. Lewellen, 1968. "Executive Compensation in Large Industrial Corporations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lewe68-1, October.
  2. Masson, Robert Tempest, 1971. "Executive Motivations, Earnings, and Consequent Equity Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1278-92, Nov.-Dec..
  3. 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.
  4. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  5. Goldberg, Victor P., 1980. "Bridges over contested terrain : Exploring the radical account of the employment relationship," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 249-274, September.
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