Stock-Based Compensation and CEO (Dis)Incentives

52 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2008

See all articles by Efraim Benmelech

Efraim Benmelech

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Eugene Kandel

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Pietro Veronesi

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Abstract

Stock-based compensation is the standard solution to agency problems between shareholders and managers. In a dynamic rational expectations equilibrium model with asymmetric information we show that although stock-based compensation causes managers to work harder, it also induces them to hide any worsening of the firm's investment opportunities by following largely sub-optimal investment policies. This problem is especially severe for growth firms, whose stock prices then become overvalued while managers hide the bad news to shareholders. We find that a firm-specific compensation package based on both stock and earnings performance instead induces a combination of high effort, truth revelation and optimal investments. The model produces numerous predictions that are consistent with the empirical evidence.

Keywords: CEO compensation, Sub-optimal investments

JEL Classification: G31, G34, G35

Suggested Citation

Benmelech, Efraim and Kandel, Eugene and Veronesi, Pietro, Stock-Based Compensation and CEO (Dis)Incentives. CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6515. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1140042

Efraim Benmelech

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

Evanston, IL 60208
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Eugene Kandel (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

School of Business
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3137 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Pietro Veronesi

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-6348 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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