What Do We Know About Executive Compensation at Privately Held Firms?
Rebel A. Cole
Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
February 17, 2013
FRB of New York Staff Report No. 314
This study examines the determinants of executive compensation using data from two nationally representative samples of privately held U.S. corporations conducted ten years apart-in 1993 and 2003 — and uses these data to test a number of hypotheses. We find that: (i) the level of executive pay at privately held firms is higher at larger firms and varies widely by industry, consistent with stylized facts about executive pay at public companies; (ii) inflation-adjusted executive pay has fallen at privately held companies, in contrast with the widely documented run-up in executive pay at large public companies; (iii) the pay-size elasticity is much larger for privately held firms than for the publicly traded firms on which previous research has almost exclusively focused; (iv) executive pay is higher at more complex organizations; (v) organizational form affects taxation, which, in turn, affects executive pay, with executives at C-corporations being paid significantly more than executives at S-corporations; (vi) executive pay is inversely related to CEO ownership; (vii) executive pay is inversely related to financial risk; and (viii) executive pay is related to a number of CEO characteristics, including age, education and gender: executive pay is inversely related to CEO age, positively related to educational, and is significantly lower for female executives.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 72
Keywords: CEO, Compensation, Education, Executive, Executive Pay, Gender, Organizational Form, Ownership, SSBF, Taxes
JEL Classification: H24, H25, G32, J33working papers series
Date posted: March 15, 2007 ; Last revised: February 20, 2013
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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