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Product Market Competition and Executive Compensation: An Empirical Investigation

  • Patricia Funk
  • Gabrielle Wanzenried

There is an ongoing theoretical debate about whether firm-owners would optimally use stronger or weaker incentive schemes for their managers as productmarket competition increases. Schmidt (1997) shows that the outside options of the managers play a crucial role: if the market for managers is soft, an increase in competition is more likely to result in stronger incentive schemes than if the market for managers is tough. In this paper, we for the first time analyze the effects of product market competition on the level and structure of executive compensation. With panel-data for firms in the the U.S. manufacturing industries (NAICS 32-33), we investigate (a) how an increase in product market competition affects the use of incentive contracts and (b) whether this relationship depends on the outside options of the managers as predicted by theory.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0309.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0309
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  1. Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Performance Pay And Top Management Incentives," Papers 88-04, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  2. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  3. repec:dgr:kubcen:2000104 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. George P. Baker & Brian J. Hall, 1998. "CEO Incentives and Firm Size," NBER Working Papers 6868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
  6. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
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