The Option to Quit: The Effect of Employee Stock Options on Turnover
46 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2011 Last revised: 9 Jan 2018
Date Written: October 2017
We show that in the years following a large broad-based employee stock option (BBSO) grant, employee turnover falls at the granting firm. We find evidence consistent with a causal relation by exploiting unexpected changes in the value of unvested options. A large fraction of the reduction in turnover appears to be temporary with turnover increasing in the third year following the year of the adoption of the BBSO plan. The increase three years post-grant is equal in magnitude to the cumulative decrease in turnover over the three prior years, suggesting that long-vesting BBSO plans delay, instead of prevent, turnover.
Keywords: employee stock options, turnover
JEL Classification: G30, J33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation