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Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance





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To motivate managers to pursue shareholder interests, boards may design management compensation packages to reward managers for good firm performance. However, note that when CEOs are far from retirement, they have career concerns. In these cases, Gibbons and Murphy argue that it may not be optimal for their current compensation to be too dependent on firm performance. Testing this proposition, we find that abnormal returns are negatively related to the percentage of performance-based pay of newly hired CEOs when companies announce CEO successions. Since these newly hired CEOs are likely some distance from retirement, we interpret these results as being consistent with Gibbons and Murphy; it may be better to allow newly hired CEOs to be paid in human capital increases from the managerial labor market than to have their current pay too closely related to performance.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 49 (4), 2009 and is available here.

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