Do Contracts for Executive Compensation Maximize Firm Value?

In a recent study, we examine whether executive compensation contracts are designed to maximize firm value. There is considerable debate regarding executive compensation in both the public arena and academia. On the one hand, proponents of the “value maximization” theories claim that executive compensation contracts are optimally designed to attract and provide incentives for executives in a competitive job market to maximize shareholder value. On the other hand, proponents of the “rent extraction” theories suggest that market forces fail in this setting, because executives are able to practically set their own compensation, therefore executive compensation contracts are set sub-optimally … Read more