An Equilibrium Model of Managerial Compensation

29 Pages Posted: 4 May 2005

See all articles by Michael J. P. Magill

Michael J. P. Magill

University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Martine Quinzii

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2005

Abstract

This paper studies a general equilibrium model with two groups of agents, investors (shareholders) and managers of firms, in which managerial effort is not observable and influences the probabilities of firms' outcomes. Shareholders of each firm offer the manager an incentive contract which maximizes the firm's market value, under the assumption that the financial markets are complete relative to the possible outcomes of the firms. The paper studies two sources of inefficiency of equilibrium. First, when investors are risk averse and effort influences probability, market-value maximization differs from maximization of expected utility. Second, because the optimal contract exploits all sources of information for inferring managerial effort, when firms' outputs are correlated the contract of a manager depends on the outcomes of other firms. This leads to an external effect of the effort of one manager on the compensation of other managers, which market-value maximization ignores. We show that under typical conditions these two effects lead to an under-provision of effort in equilibrium. These inefficiencies disappear however if each firm is replicated, and in the limit there is a continuum of firms of each type.

JEL Classification: D23, D51, D62, D82

Suggested Citation

Magill, Michael J. P. and Quinzii, Martine, An Equilibrium Model of Managerial Compensation (March 2005). IEPR Working Paper No. 05-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=716450 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.716450

Michael J. P. Magill (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-2104 (Phone)
213-740-8543 (Fax)

Martine Quinzii

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-1567 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

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