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Managerial Incentives and Value Creation: Evidence from Private Equity

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  • Phillip Leslie
  • Paul Oyer

Abstract

We analyze the differences between companies owned by private equity (PE) investors and similar public companies. We document that PE-owned companies use much stronger incentives for their top executives and have substantially higher debt levels. However, we find little evidence that PE-owned firms outperform public firms in profitability or operational efficiency. We also show that the compensation and debt differences between PE-owned companies and public companies disappear over a very short period (one to two years) after the PE-owned firm goes public. Our results raise questions about whether and how PE firms and the incentives they put in place create value.

Suggested Citation

  • Phillip Leslie & Paul Oyer, 2008. "Managerial Incentives and Value Creation: Evidence from Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 14331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14331
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    1. Steven Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Josh Lerner & Javier Miranda, 2008. "Private Equity and Employment," Working Papers 08-07r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Oct 2011.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Phalippou, Ludovic & Gottschalg, Olivier, 2010. "Giants at the Gate: On the Cross-section of Private Equity Investment Returns," MPRA Paper 28487, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Oriana Bandiera & Luigi Guiso & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2015. "Matching Firms, Managers, and Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(3), pages 623-681.
    3. Jesse Edgerton, 2011. "Agency problems in public firms: evidence from corporate jets in leveraged buyouts," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Troy D. Smith, 2015. "Private Equity Investment in India: Efficiency vs Expansion," Discussion Papers 15-011, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    5. Bannier, Christina E. & Feess, Eberhard, 2010. "When high-powered incentive contracts reduce performance: choking under pressure as a screening device," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 135, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    6. Martin Olsson & Joacim Tåg, 2017. "Private Equity, Layoffs, and Job Polarization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 697-754.
    7. Pierre Chaigneau, 2010. "The Optimal Timing of Executive Compensation," FMG Discussion Papers dp660, Financial Markets Group.
    8. Acharya, Viral V & Hahn, Moritz & Kehoe, Conor, 2009. "Corporate Governance and Value Creation: Evidence from Private Equity," CEPR Discussion Papers 7242, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Grupp, Marcel & Rauch, Christian & Umber, Marc P. & Walz, Uwe, 2015. "The influence of leveraged buyouts on target firms' competitors," SAFE Working Paper Series 99, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    10. Kim, Tae-Nyun & Palia, Darius, 2014. "Private equity alliances in mergers," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 10-20.
    11. Ayash, Brian & Schütt, Harm, 2016. "Does going private add value through operating improvements?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 192-215.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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