Price vs. Non-Price Performance Measures in Optimal CEO Compensation Contracts
44 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2002
Date Written: May 2003
We empirically examine standard agency predictions about how performance measures are optimally weighted to provide CEO incentives. Consistent with prior empirical research, we document that the relative weight on price and non-price performance measures in CEO cash pay is a decreasing function of the relative variances. Agency theory speaks to the weights in total compensation (annual total pay and changes in the CEO's equity portfolio value), however, and we document that very little of CEOs' total incentives comes from cash pay. We also document that variation in the relative weight on price and non-price performance measures in CEO total compensation is an increasing function of the relative variances. The conflicting results using total compensation indicate that existing findings on cash pay cannot be interpreted as evidence supporting standard agency predictions. Based on our results, we suggest approaches for future research on performance measure use in CEO total compensation.
Keywords: agency theory, cash pay, total compensation, equity incentives
JEL Classification: G32, J33, J41, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation