CSR-Contingent Executive Compensation Incentive and Earnings Management
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3421
12 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2019 Last revised: 25 Sep 2019
Date Written: June 22, 2019
This paper empirically studies the connection between earnings management and corporate social performance, conditional on the existence of CSR-contingent executive compensation contracts, an emerging practice to link executive compensation to corporate social performance. We find that executives are more likely to manipulate earnings to achieve their personal compensation goals when CSR rating is low, as well as their CSR-contingent compensation. Because of public pressure on their excessive total compensation, corporate executives see no need to manipulate earnings to increase compensation when their CSR-contingent compensation is already high. Our results suggest that earnings management and CSR-contingent compensation are substitute tools to serve the interests of executives, which is an agency problem that was never previously studied. Additionally, we explore how managerial characteristics affect earnings management, driven by the incentive effects of CSR-linked compensation.
Keywords: earnings management, corporate social responsibility, CSR-contingent compensation, CSR contract, executive compensation, discretionary accruals
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