Agency Theory and CEO Incentives

Joseph Dunning IV

Monash Business School

January 23, 2012

This thesis will consider the question of whether Australian law has kept pace with CEO incentive pay developments in a way that is consistent with the economic rationale behind them.

This thesis will be divided into four sections:
One – The thesis will survey CEO incentive pay and explain how it has developed over the last thirty years to where it is today.

Two - The thesis will analyze the economic rationale behind the development of incentive pay with particular attention on the “agency-principal problem”. The incentives have not only been used to protect the principal from the self-interest of the agent, but have also been used to link pay with desirable performance outcomes.

Three- The thesis will discuss black letter law and soft law (such as ASX corporate governance guidelines) that have been introduced to govern and protect shareholders from the risks incentive pay may expose them to.

Four – The thesis will consider whether the law has kept pace with incentive developments in a way that is consistent with the economic rationale behind them.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: Adam Smith, Mercantilism, Agency Theory, Executive Remuneration, Incentives, Michael Jensen

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Date posted: April 5, 2012 ; Last revised: July 13, 2012

Suggested Citation

Dunning, Joseph, Agency Theory and CEO Incentives (January 23, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2034618 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2034618

Contact Information

Joseph Clarke Dunning IV (Contact Author)
Monash Business School ( email )
Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3168

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