Incentive Compensation and the Stock Price Response to Dividend Increase Announcements
Posted: 27 Feb 2001
Linking executive compensation to stock price performance is predicted to decrease the usual positive price response to dividend increases for two reasons. One, increasing pay-performance sensitivity (PPS) exacerbates managers' optimistic bias regarding future firm performance, reducing the credibility of dividend signals. Two, increasing pay-performance sensitivity reduces the need for dividends as a means of reducing agency costs. Consistent with behavioral and agency theories of corporate finance, we find that price response does decrease as pay-performance sensitivity increases and that this effect is concentrated in firms with low market-to-book ratios. Additional findings are most consistent with the agency cost explanation.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation