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Deferred compensation and risk-taking incentives

Author

Listed:
  • Roman Inderst

    (Univ. Frankfurt and Imperial College Lon)

  • Marcus Opp

    (UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business)

  • Florian Hoffmann

    (University of Bonn)

Abstract

Our paper develops a simple principal-agent framework to analyze the equilibrium relationship between risk-taking and the timing of pay. In our setup, the agent's one-time action has persistent effects through affecting the arrival time distribution of a disaster event. While the principal receives informative signals about the agent's action over time, it is costly to rely on this information for incentive pay since the agent is relatively impatient. Optimal compensation contracts resolve the tension between impatience and information with at most two payout dates. Our framework lends itself to analyze recent regulatory interventions mandating minimum deferral periods and clawback provisions in the financial sector. It shows how such regulatory interference in the timing dimension causes the principal to adjust other dimensions of the compensation contract, which may then lead to higher risk-taking. Mandatory deferral requirements are more likely to be effective in reducing risk-taking when competition for agents is high.

Suggested Citation

  • Roman Inderst & Marcus Opp & Florian Hoffmann, 2016. "Deferred compensation and risk-taking incentives," 2016 Meeting Papers 674, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jarque, Arantxa, 2010. "Repeated moral hazard with effort persistence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(6), pages 2412-2423, November.
    2. Hugo Hopenhayn & Arantxa Jarque, 2010. "Unobservable Persistent Productivity and Long Term Contracts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 333-349, April.
    3. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249.
    4. Peter DeMarzo & Darrell Duffie, 1999. "A Liquidity-Based Model of Security Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 65-100, January.
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