The Participation Constraint and CEO Equity Grants
Forthcoming, The Accounting Review (https://doi.org/10.2308/tar-2017-0692)
50 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2017 Last revised: 22 May 2020
Date Written: February 17, 2020
We examine the extent to which participation constraints influence CEO annual equity grants. Studying CEO equity grants over the period 2006-2016 and using equity grants to compensation peers as a proxy for the reservation equity grant level, we find that the reservation wage in equity is a determinant of the magnitude of equity grants. We also find that firms are more likely to meet the peer grant levels when there is higher labor market competition and when the firm discloses that key personnel is a risk factor. CEO turnover is more likely when the firm grants equity below the peer level. Further, firms are less likely to meet peer equity grant levels and increase cash compensation when the CEO holds a large portfolio of equity incentives. Overall, the results suggest that the participation constraint influences annual equity grants and that firms consider the potential costs of providing too much equity.
Keywords: Peer Groups, Equity Compensation, Labor Markets
JEL Classification: M52, J33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation