Inattention, Forced Exercise, and the Valuation of Executive Stock Options
24 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2008 Last revised: 14 May 2014
Date Written: February 15, 2009
We develop a new Black-Scholes type closed-form valuation formula for executive stock options. This formula incorporates four important unique characteristics of these options that distinguish them from standard European options: (i) The presence of the vesting period; (ii) the tendency of executives to exercise portions of their grants right at the end of the vesting period; (iii) the ability of the executives to choose optimally whether to exercise their options or keep them; and (4) executives may be forced to early exercise their options, possibly due to severe liquidity shocks or due to unexpected departure. We use an extensive executive option data set to calibrate our model. We show that the standard Black-Scholes formula significantly overestimates the value of executive stock options.
Keywords: Executive Stock Options, Valuation
JEL Classification: G38, M52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation