Directors' Remuneration: A Comparison of Italian and Uk Non-Financial Listed Firms' Disclosure
Posted: 28 Nov 2018
Date Written: 2015
Directors’ remuneration is a key issue for both academics and policymakers. It has caused enormous controversy in recent years. This study uses a comprehensive index to analyse the disclosure of directors’ remuneration in Italian and UK listed firms. It finds that the level of voluntary disclosure is significantly associated with firm-specific incentives, such as the demand for information from investors and the need for legitimacy. It finds that the level of voluntary disclosure is significantly higher in the UK than in Italy and that firm-specific incentives to disclose voluntary information differ according to the institutional setting in which a firm operates. In the UK, firm-specific incentives mostly come from the demand for information, estimated with the level of ownership diffusion, and the need for legitimacy generated by poor market performance and shareholders’ dissent. In Italy, firm-specific incentives seem to be represented by the need for legitimacy generated by media coverage. This study also provides evidence that, in both countries, the information disclosed in corporate documents does not allow readers to obtain a comprehensive picture of directors’ remuneration. Bonuses are poorly disclosed even though they are a key element of directors’ remuneration. This finding is clearly important for policymakers at European and national level.
Keywords: director compensation, disclosure, legitimacy theory, agency theory
JEL Classification: M40, M12, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation