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Bankers' Pay Structure And Risk

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  • John Thanassoulis

Abstract

This paper studies the contracting problem between banks and their bankers, embedded in a competitive labour market for banker talent. To motivate effort banks must use some variable remuneration. Such remuneration introduces a risk-shifting problem by creating incentives to inflate early earnings: to manage this some bonus pay is optimally deferred. As competition between banks for bankers rises it becomes more expensive to manage the risk-shifting problem than the moral hazard problem. If competition grows strong enough, contracts which permit some risk-shifting become optimal. Empirically I demonstrate that balance sheets have changed in a manner which triggers this mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • John Thanassoulis, 2011. "Bankers' Pay Structure And Risk," Economics Series Working Papers 545, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:545
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper545.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeremy Bulow & Jonathan Levin, 2006. "Matching and Price Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 652-668.
    2. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
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    4. Michael S. Haigh & John A. List, 2005. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 523-534, February.
    5. Jackwerth, Jens Carsten, 2000. "Recovering Risk Aversion from Option Prices and Realized Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(2), pages 433-451.
    6. Pozsar, Zoltan & Adrian, Tobias & Ashcraft, Adam B. & Boesky, Hayley, 2013. "Shadow banking," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-16.
      • Zoltan Pozsar & Tobias Adrian & Adam B. Ashcraft & Hayley Boesky, 2010. "Shadow banking," Staff Reports 458, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    7. Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 1995. "Long-Term Contracts, Short-Term Investment and Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 557-575.
    8. Peyton Young & Dean P Foster, 2008. "The Hedge Fund Game," Economics Papers 2008-W01, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bijlsma, Michiel & Boone, Jan & Zwart, Gijsbert, 2012. "Competition for traders and risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 8816, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. John Thanassoulis, 2013. "Industry Structure, Executive Pay, and Short-Termism," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 402-419.
    3. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2011. "Taxation and regulation of bonus pay," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58192, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk-shifting; Moral hazard; Incentives; Bonuses; Banks; Bankers' pay;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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