Dynamic Incentive Accounts

43 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2009 Last revised: 9 Oct 2009

See all articles by Alex Edmans

Alex Edmans

London Business School - Institute of Finance and Accounting; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Xavier Gabaix

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Tomasz Sadzik

New York University (NYU)

Yuliy Sannikov

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; Princeton University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2009

Abstract

Contracts in a dynamic model must address a number of issues absent from static frameworks. Shocks to firm value may weaken the incentive effects of securities (e.g. cause options to fall out of the money), and the impact of some CEO actions may not be felt until far in the future. We derive the optimal contract in a setting where the CEO can affect firm value through both productive effort and costly manipulation, and may undo the contract by privately saving. The optimal contract takes a surprisingly simple form, and can be implemented by a "Dynamic Incentive Account." The CEO's expected pay is escrowed into an account, a fraction of which is invested in the firm's stock and the remainder in cash. The account features state-dependent rebalancing and time-dependent vesting. It is constantly rebalanced so that the equity fraction remains above a certain threshold; this threshold sensitivity is typically increasing over time even in the absence of career concerns. The account vests gradually both during the CEO's employment and after he quits, to deter short-termist actions before retirement.

Suggested Citation

Edmans, Alex and Gabaix, Xavier and Sadzik, Tomasz and Sannikov, Yuliy, Dynamic Incentive Accounts (September 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15324. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1469118

Alex Edmans

London Business School - Institute of Finance and Accounting ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Xavier Gabaix (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Tomasz Sadzik

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Yuliy Sannikov

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

Princeton University - Department of Economics

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

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