Trading away Incentives
IWH Discussion Papers,
Equity pay has been the primary component of managerial compensation packages at US public firms since the early 1990s. Using a comprehensive sample of top executives from 1992-2020, we estimate to what extent they trade firm equity held in their portfolios to neutralize increments in ownership due to annual equity pay. Executives accommodate ownership increases linked to options awards. Conversely, increases in stock holdings linked to option exercises and restricted stock grants are largely neutralized through comparable sales of unrestricted shares. Variation in stock trading responses across executives hardly appears to respond to diversification motives. From a theoretical standpoint, these results challenge (i) the common, generally implicit assumption that managers cannot undo their incentive packages, (ii) the standard modeling practice of treating different equity pay items homogeneously, and (iii) the often taken for granted crucial role of diversification motives in managers’ portfolio choices.
Non-base Compensation and the Gender Pay Gap
LABOUR: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations,
This paper investigates whether non-base compensation contributes to the gender pay gap (GPG). Using administrative data from Germany, we find in wage decompositions that lower bonus payments to women explain about 10 per cent of the gap at the mean and at different quantiles of the unconditional wage distribution whereas the lower prevalence of shift premia and overtime pay among women is unimportant. Among managers, the contribution of bonuses to the mean gap more than doubles and is steadily rising as one moves up the wage distribution. Our findings suggest that gender differences in bonuses are an important contributor to the GPG, particularly in top jobs.
The Value of Firm Networks: A Natural Experiment on Board Connections
SSRN Working Papers,
We present causal evidence on the effect of boardroom networks on firm value and compensation policies. We exploit a ban on interlocking directorates of Italian financial and insurance companies as exogenous variation and show that firms that lose centrality in the network experience negative abnormal returns around the announcement date. The key driver of our results is the role of boardroom connections in reducing asymmetric information. The complementarities with the input-output and cross-ownership networks are consistent with this channel. Using hand-collected data, we also show that network centrality has a positive effect on directors’ compensation, providing evidence of rent sharing.
Globalisation, Productivity Growth, and Labour Compensation
IWH Discussion Papers,
Since the onset of globalisation, production activities have become increasingly fragmented and organised in global value chains (GVC). These networks facilitate trade in intermediaries across industrial sectors and countries and change the conditions for policies to respond to shocks. In this paper, we contribute to the understanding of the effects of GVC on productivity and labour shares in advanced and emerging economies. As indicators for globalisation we use the foreign share in intermediate inputs and the foreign share in value added, extracted from international input output tables. Estimates based on local projections reveal a positive relationship between globalisation and productivity. Moreover, we are able to reject the hypothesis that a higher degree of international integration in country-industry pairs is negatively associated with the change in the labour share for advanced countries.
26.01.2022 • 2/2022
Investment, output gap, and public finances in the medium term: Implications of the Second Supplementary Budget 2021
With the Second Supplementary Budget 2021, the German government plans to allocate a reserve of 60 billion euros to the Energy and Climate Fund. This additional spending is also meant to reduce the macroeconomic follow-up costs of the pandemic. According to the IWH’s medium-term projection, the expenditure is expected to increase output by about 0.5% at the peak of its impact in 2024. “While this macroeconomic effect is welcome, the additional investment will by no means compensate for the lack of investment activity since the beginning of the pandemic,” says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). Moreover, the supplementary budget is likely to reduce confidence in the reliability of the debt brake.
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Military Directors, Governance and Firm Behavior
Advances in Accounting,
We build a large dataset of board of directors with military experience and document a substantial and persistent presence of independent military directors serving on corporate boards. We find that firms with independent military directors are associated with better monitoring outcomes, including less excessive CEO compensation, greater forced CEO turnover–performance sensitivity, and less earnings management.
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