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Say Pays! Shareholder Voice and Firm Performance


  • Cuñat, Vicente
  • Gine, Mireia
  • Guadalupe, Maria


This paper estimates the effects of Say-on-Pay (SoP); a policy that increases shareholder "voice" by providing shareholders with a regular vote on executive pay. We apply a regression discontinuity design to the votes on shareholder-sponsored SoP proposals. Adopting SoP leads to large increases in market value (4.6%) and to improvements in long-term performance: profitability and labor productivity increase, while overheads and investment fall. In contrast, we find limited effects on pay levels and structure. This suggests that SoP operates as a regular vote of confidence, increasing efficiency and market value.

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  • Cuñat, Vicente & Gine, Mireia & Guadalupe, Maria, 2013. "Say Pays! Shareholder Voice and Firm Performance," MPRA Paper 48489, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48489

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Pineiro-Chousa & Marcos Vizcaíno-González & Jérôme Caby, 2018. "Linking market capitalisation and voting pattern in corporate meetings," Post-Print halshs-02001463, HAL.
    2. Pierre Chaigneau & Nicolas Sahuguet, "undated". "The structure of CEO pay: pay-for-luck and stock-options," FMG Discussion Papers dp713, Financial Markets Group.
    3. Vicente Cuñat & Mireia Giné & Maria Guadalupe, 2020. "Price and Probability: Decomposing the Takeover Effects of Anti‐Takeover Provisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 75(5), pages 2591-2629, October.
    4. Vizcaíno, Marcos & Chousa, Juan P., 2016. "Analyzing the influence of the funds' support on Tobin's q using SEM and fsQCA," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 2118-2124.
    5. Caroline Flammer, 2015. "Does Corporate Social Responsibility Lead to Superior Financial Performance? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(11), pages 2549-2568, November.
    6. Marcos Vizcaíno-González & Juan Pineiro-Chousa & Jorge Sáinz-González, 2017. "Selecting explanatory factors of voting decisions by means of fsQCA and ANN," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 51(5), pages 2049-2061, September.
    7. Laura Henning, 2015. "Shareholder voting and merger returns," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 29(4), pages 337-363, November.
    8. Canil, Jean & Karpavičius, Sigitas & Yu, Chia-Feng, 2019. "Are shareholders gender neutral? Evidence from say on pay," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 169-186.
    9. Pierre Chaigneau & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2014. "Explaining the Association between Monitoring and Controversial CEO Pay Practices: an Optimal Contracting Perspective," Cahiers de recherche 1406, CIRPEE.
    10. Denes, Matthew R. & Karpoff, Jonathan M. & McWilliams, Victoria B., 2017. "Thirty years of shareholder activism: A survey of empirical research," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 405-424.
    11. Fried, Jesse & Kamar, Ehud & Yafeh, Yishay, 2018. "The Effect of Minority Veto Rights on Controller Tunneling," CEPR Discussion Papers 12697, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Martin Bugeja & Zoltan Matolcsy & Helen Spiropoulos, 2016. "The Association Between Gender-Diverse Compensation Committees and CEO Compensation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 139(2), pages 375-390, December.
    13. Chaigneau, Pierre & Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2013. "The effect of monitoring on CEO pay practices in a matching equilibrium," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55405, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Nicola Cucari, 2019. "Determinants of say on pay vote: a configurational analysis," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 837-856, September.

    More about this item


    Say-on-Pay; Shareholder Voice; Executive Compensation; Firm Performance; Governance;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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