The effect of stock pay and stock holdings on the pay to performance sensitivity in Denmark

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The effect of stock pay and stock holdings on the pay to performance sensitivity in Denmark

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Title: The effect of stock pay and stock holdings on the pay to performance sensitivity in Denmark
Author: Banghøj, Jesper; Plenborg, Thomas
Abstract: We explore the impact of stock pay and stock holdings on the pay to performance sensitivity in Denmark. Our research is motivated by the fact that most non-UK/US studies ignore stock based pay and stock holdings when measuring the pay to performance sensitivity. Further, most studies that explore the pay to performance relation apply the Black and Scholes approach assuming that the executive is both risk neutral due to hedge possibilities and well diversified. However, as pointed by Hall and Murphy (2002) executives are neither risk neutral nor well diversified. We adopt the certainty equivalence approach developed by Lambert et al (1991) to demonstrate that in a setting where executives are risk averse and undiversified there is a gap between the cost of granting stock options and the value, which executives receive from the same stock option program. Our findings indicate that the Danish level of pay is lower than in the UK and the US but more in line with the pay in other Scandinavian countries. Further, our results show that stock options are less frequently used to compensate Danish executives. On the other hand, stock ownership seems to be a more popular way to align the interests of the management and the shareholders than stock options. Furthermore, including stock holdings affect our four pay to performance sensitivity measures significantly. We also demonstrate that the pay to performance sensitivity is considerably lower than indicated by the Black and Scholes approach. Finally, the pay to performance sensitivity is on average smaller in Denmark than in the US. However, the pay to performance sensitivity seems similar in Denmark and the UK.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/6741
Date: 2007-12-11

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