The 2007-2009 Financial Crisis and Executive Compensation: An Analysis and a Proposal for a Novel Structure
32 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2010
Date Written: May 24, 2010
During the 2007-2009 crises financial institutions have come under increasing pressure from regulators, politicians and shareholders to change their compensation practices in order to remove the incentive for short-term excessive risk taking In this paper we analyze how commonly used executive compensation plans can lead to two socially undesirable outcomes: excessive risk taking at one extreme and complete freeze of risky activities (new lending) on the other. We propose adding a new component to the executive compensation, which is paid only if the value of the firm will be located in some predetermined range. These components will push the executive towards the first best solution in which a moderate (internal solution) level of assets risk will be optimal because of the convex relationship between assets risk and compensation value.
Keywords: compensation practices, executive compensation, risk taking, regulation, executive stock options, financial crisis
JEL Classification: G12, G13, G21, G28, G38, E58
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