Browsing by Subject "agency costs"

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  • Nandelstadh von, Alexander; Rosenberg, Matts (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, 2003)
    This paper examines the association between corporate governance attributes and firm performance of Finnish firms during 1990 – 2000. The empirical results suggest that corporate governance matters for firm performance. First, univariate test results indicate that firms characterized by a high (efficient) level of corporate governance have delivered greater stock returns, are higher valued based on the measure of Tobin’s Q, and exhibit higher ratios of cash flow to assets, on average, in comparison to their counterparts characterized by a low (inefficient) level of corporate governance. Second, controlling for a number of well-known determinants of stock returns, we find evidence that firms categorized by inefficient corporate governance have delivered inferior returns to shareholders during the investigation period. Finally, after controlling for several common determinants of firm value, we find that firms characterized by efficient corporate governance have been valued higher during the investigation period, measured by Tobin’s Q.
  • Rosenberg, Matts (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-05-07)
    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.
  • Pasternack, Daniel; Rosenberg, Matts (Hanken School of Economics, 2003)
    This paper analyzes factors driving the design of stock option plans for Finnish firms. We examine determinants of the scope of plans, exercise price, target group, and dividend protection. The scope is found to be negatively related to Tobin’s Q and positively related to proxies for monitoring costs. The scope is also greater in broad-based plans, and in plans with dividend protection. Prior stock return is found to be negatively related to the size of the premium (out-of-the-moneyness), whereas dividend protection increases the premium. The results also suggest that investment intensity, cash flow, and monitoring costs are associated with the likelihood of granting premium (out-of-the-money) stock options. Furthermore, the likelihood of granting broad-based plans is increasing in institutional ownership and cash flow constraints, and decreasing in firm size. Broad-based plans are also more likely among firms in growth industries. We find support that the likelihood of dividend protection is decreasing in foreign ownership. In addition, firms paying zero-dividends are less likely to include dividend protection, whereas higher unsystematic risk is associated with a greater likelihood of including dividend protection.