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Fiscal treatment of managerial compensation - a welfare analysis

  • Hilmer, Michael
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    We analyze the consequences of bonus taxes, limited deductibility of bonuses from company pro ts and a corporate income tax (CIT) in a principal-agent model and explore how these tax instruments a ffect managerial incentives and how they change the design of incentive contracts used in equilibrium. Introducing bonus taxes decreases the agent's net bonus and reduces eff ort. Limited deductibility has no such e ffects. In equilibrium both instruments lead to a lower eff ort incentivized by the principal with a lower bonus when bonuses are less deductible. We find that a bonus tax can lead to an increase in bonus payments. Moreover, the model explains the welfare eff ects and distributional implications of the actions named above. Limited deductibility and bonus taxes are close substitutes and lead to a welfare loss compared to a taxation by a CIT as the CIT neither has an eff ect on incentives nor on the incentive contract. Furthermore welfare can be increased by paying a subsidy for bonus payments.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/79703/1/VfS_2013_pid_865.pdf
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    Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79703.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79703
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/Email:


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    1. Helmut M. Dietl & Martin Grossmann & Markus Lang & Simon Wey, 2012. "Incentive Effects of Bonus Taxes in a Principal-Agent Model," Working Papers 313, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    2. Doina Maria Radulescu, 2010. "The Effects of a Bonus Tax on Manager Compensation and Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 3030, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Banerjee, Anindya & Besley, Timothy, 1990. "Moral Hazard, Limited Liability and Taxation: A Principal-Agent Model," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 46-60, January.
    4. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    5. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Jesse M. Fried, 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
    6. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
    7. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Fried, Jesse M., 2003. "Executive Compensation as an Agency Problem," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt81q3136r, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    8. Steven Shavell, 1979. "Risk Sharing and Incentives in the Principal and Agent Relationship," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 55-73, Spring.
    9. John Thanassoulis, 2011. "The Case For Intervening In Bankers' Pay," Economics Series Working Papers 532, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Fried, Jesse & Walker, David I, 2002. "Managerial Power and Rent Extraction in the Design of Executive Compensation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3558, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. HOLMSTROM, Bengt, . "Moral hazard and observability," CORE Discussion Papers RP -379, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    12. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1979. "Optimal incentive contracts with imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-259, April.
    13. Martin Grossmann & Markus Lang & Helmut Dietl, 2011. "Why Taxing Executives' Bonuses Can Foster Risk-Taking Behavior," Working Papers 0150, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised May 2012.
    14. Park, Eun-Soo, 1995. "Incentive Contracting under Limited Liability," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 477-90, Fall.
    15. Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-39, May.
    16. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
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