28 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 11, 2016
We empirically estimate that approximately 90% of standard option-based compensation constitutes pay-for-luck. This value is very robust, and stems from the inherent fact that chance plays a dominant role in determining firm performance. The impact of a manager on her expected compensation via the improvement of firm performance is low, hence, in contrast to common wisdom, standard option-based compensation does not constitute a strong motivating force for rational managers. Indexing and a high strike price can double an option’s motivational power.
Keywords: Executive Compensation, Pay for Performance, Pay for Luck, Employee Stock Options, Managerial Talent, Incentives
JEL Classification: M12, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation