Managerial Risk-Taking and CEO Excess Compensation
54 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2014
Date Written: January 14, 2014
This paper examines risk taking and CEO excess compensation problems in U.S firms to determine their impact on shareholders wealth. Literature suggests a positive effect of CEO incentive risk and strong corporate governance on CEO risk taking. Furthermore, the strong governance mitigates excess compensation problem. Controlling for governance quality and incentive risk, we provide empirical evidence of a significant association between risk taking and CEO excess compensation. When we also control for pay-performance sensitivity (delta) and feedback effects of incentive compensation on CEO risk taking, we find that higher use of incentive pay encourages risk taking, and due to a high exposure to risk CEOs draws excess compensation. Furthermore, we find that the excess compensation problem is more serious with CEOs taking high risk than with those taking low risk. Finally, we find that CEO risk taking also has structural impacts on CEO compensation.
Keywords: Excess Compensation; CEO risk taking; Incentive risk; Governance quality; Incentive compensation; Pay-performance sensitivity.
JEL Classification: G40
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