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The Effect of Competition on Managers' Compensation: Evidence From a Quasi-natural Experiment

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This paper studies the effect of competition on executive compensation. We estimate the effect of increased product market competition on the performance-pay sensitivity of CEOs, and contrast it with the effect for department managers and other workers in the corporation. We use a recent reform that simplied firm entry regulation in Portugal as a quasi-natural experiment. The empirical strategy exploits the staggered implementation of the reform across municipalities. Using linked employer-employee data for the universe of workers and firms, we show that increased product market competition, following the deregulation, decreased the sensitivity of pay to performance of CEOs and other managers, with no significant effects found for other workers. These findings are consistent with existing theoretical results in a principal-agent framework that a fall in entry costs leads to weaker managerial incentives.

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Paper provided by Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho in its series NIMA Working Papers with number 57.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2014
Publication status: Forthcoming in The Journal of Human Resources
Handle: RePEc:nim:nimawp:57/2014
DOI: 10.3368/jhr.53.3.0215-6963R1
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  1. World Bank & International Finance Corporation, 2006. "Doing Business in 2006 : Creating Jobs," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7421, April.
  2. Fernandes, Ana P. & Ferreira, Priscila & Alan Winters, L., 2014. "Firm entry deregulation, competition and returns to education and skill," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 210-230.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Robin Burgess & Stephen J. Redding & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "The Unequal Effects of Liberalization: Evidence from Dismantling the License Raj in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1397-1412, September.
  4. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
  5. Lee Branstetter & Francisco Lima & Lowell J. Taylor & Ana Venâncio, 2014. "Do Entry Regulations Deter Entrepreneurship and Job Creation? Evidence from Recent Reforms in Portugal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(577), pages 805-832, 06.
  6. Oliver D. Hart, 1983. "The Market Mechanism as an Incentive Scheme," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 366-382, Autumn.
  7. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2009. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives inside the Firm: The Effect of Foreign Competition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 179-212, 04.
  8. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1382, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Brian Bell & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Firm Performance and Wages: Evidence from Across the Corporate Hierarchy," CEP Discussion Papers dp1088, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. World Bank & International Finance Corporation, "undated". "Doing Business in Mexico 2007," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13422, The World Bank.
  11. Michael Raith, 2003. "Competition, Risk, and Managerial Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1425-1436, September.
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1369-1413.
  13. repec:wbk:wboper:13429 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  15. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
  16. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2005. "How Does Product Market Competition Shape Incentive Contracts?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1058-1082, 09.
  17. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "Executive Compensation, Strategic Competition, and Relative Performance Evaluation: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 1999-2043, December.
  18. Hubbard, R. Glenn & Palia, Darius, 1995. "Executive pay and performance Evidence from the U.S. banking industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 105-130, September.
  19. World Bank & International Finance Corporation, 2006. "Doing Business 2007 : How to Reform," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7245, April.
  20. David Scharfstein, 1988. "Product-Market Competition and Managerial Slack," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 147-155, Spring.
  21. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Peter F. Kostiuk, 1990. "Firm Size and Executive Compensation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 90-105.
  23. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
  24. World Bank & International Finance Corporation, "undated". "Doing Business in Mexico," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13430, The World Bank.
  25. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932.
  26. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2001. "The Division of Spoils: Rent-Sharing and Discrimination in a Regulated Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 814-831, September.
  27. Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & John van Reenen, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 529-554.
  28. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Ramalho, Rita Maria, 2006. "Regulation and growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 395-401, September.
  29. Klaus M. Schmidt, 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 191-213.
  30. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1988. "Profit-Related Pay: Prose Discovered," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 720-730, September.
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