Costs, Benefits, and Tax-Induced Distortions of Stock Option Plans
21 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2004
In recent years stock option plans (SOPs) have become an important component of managerial remuneration in most industrialized countries. Commonly accepted corporate as well as individual taxes have a major impact on the costs of an SOP. In contrast, the influence of taxes on the benefits of an SOP remains widely unperceived. This article deals with both cost and benefit aspects simultaneously by integrating taxation into a pricipal-agent model in which the agent is compensated in options. By deriving the optimal quantity of options to be granted and the optimal exercise price to be set, we can quantify the resulting profits for managers and shareholders. By comparing the results in a tax-free world to results that take into account different levels of taxation, we can identify several tax-induced incentive distortions.
Keywords: Mangerial Renumeration, Principal-Agent, Stock Options, Taxation
JEL Classification: D82, H25, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation