Browsing by Subject "stock option incentives"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-3 of 3
  • Rosenberg, Matts (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Economics and Society
    Managerial pay-for-performance sensitivity has increased rapidly around the world. Early empirical research showed that pay-for-performance sensitivity resulting from stock ownership and stock options appeared to be quite low during the 1970s and early 1980s in the U.S. However, recent empirical research from the U.S. shows an enormous increase in pay-for-performance sensitivity. The global trend has also reached Finland, where stock options have become a major ingredient of executive compensation. The fact that stock options seem to be an appealing form of remuneration from a theoretical point of view combined with the observation that the use of this compensation form has increased significantly during the recent years, implies that research on the dynamics of stock option compensation is highly relevant for the academic community, as well as for practitioners and regulators. The research questions of the thesis are analyzed in four separate essays. The first essay examines whether stock option compensation practices of Finnish firms are consistent with predictions from principal-agent theory. The second essay explores one of the major puzzles in the compensation literature by studying determinants of stock option contract design. In theory, optimal contract design should vary according to firm characteristics. However, in the U.S., variation in contract design seems to be surprisingly low, a phenomenon generally attributed to tax and accounting considerations. In Finland, however, firms are not subject to stringent contracting restrictions, and the variation in contract design tends, in fact, to be quite substantial. The third essay studies the impact of price- and risk incentives arising from stock option compensation on firm investment. In addition, the essay explores one of the most debated questions in the literature, in particular, the relation between incentives and firm performance. Finally, several strands of literature in both economics and corporate finance hypothesize that economic uncertainty is related to corporate decision-making. Previous research has shown that risk tends to slow down firm investment. In the fourth essay, it is hypothesized that firm risk slows down growth from a more universal perspective. Consistent with this view, it is shown that risk not only tends to slow down firm investment, but also employment growth. Moreover, the essay explores whether the nature of firms’ compensation policies, in particular, whether firms make use of stock option compensation, affects the relation between risk and firm growth. In summary, the four essays contribute to the current understanding of stock options as a form of equity incentives, and how incentives and risk affect corporate decision-making. By this, the thesis promotes the knowledge related to the modern theory of the firm.
  • Rosenberg, Matts (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, 2003)
    Working Papers
    This paper addresses several questions in the compensation literature by examining stock option compensation practices of Finnish firms. First, the results indicate that principal-agent theory succeeds quite well in predicting the use of stock options. Proxies for monitoring costs, growth opportunities, ownership structure, and risk are found to determine the use of incentives consistent with theory. Furthermore, the paper examines whether determinants of stock options targeted to top management differ from determinants of broad-based stock option plans. Some evidence is found that factors driving these two types of incentives differ. Second, the results reveal that systematic risk significantly increases the likelihood that firms adopt stock option plans, whereas total firm risk and unsystematic risk do not seem to affect this decision. Third, the results show that growth opportunities are related to time-dimensional contracting frequency, consistent with the argument that incentive levels deviate more rapidly from optimum in firms with high growth opportunities. Finally, the results suggest that vesting schedules are decreasing in financial leverage, and that contract maturity is decreasing in firm focus. In addition, both vesting schedules and contract maturity tend to be longer in firms involving state ownership.
  • Pasternack, Daniel; Rosenberg, Matts (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2002)
    Working Papers
    This paper analyzes the relations among firm-level stock option portfolio incentives, investment, and firm value based on a sample of Finnish firms during the time period 1987 – 2000. Utilizing exact and complete information regarding stock option portfolio characteristics, we find some evidence that firm investment is increasing in the incentives to increase stock price (delta) and risk (vega). Furthermore, we find strong evidence of a positive relation between both incentive effects and firm value (Tobin’s Q). In contrast, when we allow for stock option incentives, investment, and firm value to be simultaneously determined, we find no evidence that investment is increasing in incentives. However, even after controlling for endogeneity, we find that both incentive effects arising from stock option compensation display a positive and significant effect on firm value. Finally, in contradiction to earlier findings, we observe that neither Tobin’s Q nor investment drives incentives.