Cash Holding in U.S. Firms: Evidence from FAS 123R
49 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 19, 2017
Using exogenous variation in CEO stock option grants generated by FAS 123R which mandated expensing of employee stock options, we investigate the causal effects of CEO risk incentives (vega) on cash policies of U.S. firms. Employing a difference-in-difference framework, in which we identify firms most affected by the regulatory change, we find no evidence that changes in CEO portfolio vega lead to significant changes in corporate cash holdings and the marginal value of cash. Our evidence challenges the view that option-based compensation is a first-order driver of corporate cash policy and instead implies that previously documented associations perhaps reflect endogeneity rather than a causal influence.
Keywords: Cash holdings; Stock options; CEO vega; FAS 123R; Expensing
JEL Classification: G32; G38; M52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation