R&D Intensity, Ability Indicators, and Executive Compensation

34 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2011 Last revised: 1 Jun 2016

Rajiv D. Banker

Temple University - Department of Accounting

Dmitri Byzalov

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management - Department of Accounting

Chunwei Xian

Northeastern Illinois University

Date Written: May 30, 2016

Abstract

We examine the relation between R&D intensity and the weights on ability indicators and financial performance measures in CEO compensation. The CEO’s technology-related ability is likely more important in R&D intensive firms. Therefore, we predict that these firms place higher weights on indicators of technology-related ability, using the compensation contract as a screening device to mitigate the adverse selection problem. Both accounting and market performance measures are likely noisier in R&D intensive firms. Therefore, we predict that these firms rely less on short-term incentives tied to concurrent earnings and stock returns and rely more on long-term equity incentives. We test these predictions using hand-collected data on the education and professional background of the CEOs in Execucomp during 1992-2006. The results support our predictions and are robust. While prior research examined performance compensation in the context of moral hazard, our findings suggest that compensation based on ability indicators plays a screening role in the context of adverse selection.

Keywords: ability indicators, adverse selection, moral hazard, information asymmetry, screening

JEL Classification: M40, M52, M55

Suggested Citation

Banker, Rajiv D. and Byzalov, Dmitri and Xian, Chunwei, R&D Intensity, Ability Indicators, and Executive Compensation (May 30, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1910134 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1910134

Rajiv D. Banker

Temple University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Dmitri Byzalov

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management - Department of Accounting ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

HOME PAGE: http://astro.temple.edu/~dbyzalov/

Chunwei Xian (Contact Author)

Northeastern Illinois University ( email )

5500 N. St. Louis Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

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