Empirical evidence on the relation between stock option compensation and risk taking

Empirical evidence on the relation between stock option compensation and risk taking We examine whether executive stock options (ESOs) provide managers with incentives to invest in risky projects. For a sample of oil and gas producers, we examine whether the coefficient of variation of future cash flows from exploration activity (our proxy for exploration risk) increases with the sensitivity of the value of the CEO's options to stock return volatility (ESO risk incentives). Both ESO risk incentives and exploration risk are treated as endogenous variables by adopting a simultaneous equations approach. We find evidence that ESO risk incentives has a positive relation with future exploration risk taking. Additional tests indicate that ESO risk incentives exhibits a negative relation with oil price hedging in a system of equations where ESO risk incentives and hedging are allowed to be endogenously determined. Overall, our results are consistent with ESOs providing managers with incentives to mitigate risk-related incentive problems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Accounting and Economics Elsevier

Empirical evidence on the relation between stock option compensation and risk taking

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.
ISSN
0165-4101
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0165-4101(02)00042-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We examine whether executive stock options (ESOs) provide managers with incentives to invest in risky projects. For a sample of oil and gas producers, we examine whether the coefficient of variation of future cash flows from exploration activity (our proxy for exploration risk) increases with the sensitivity of the value of the CEO's options to stock return volatility (ESO risk incentives). Both ESO risk incentives and exploration risk are treated as endogenous variables by adopting a simultaneous equations approach. We find evidence that ESO risk incentives has a positive relation with future exploration risk taking. Additional tests indicate that ESO risk incentives exhibits a negative relation with oil price hedging in a system of equations where ESO risk incentives and hedging are allowed to be endogenously determined. Overall, our results are consistent with ESOs providing managers with incentives to mitigate risk-related incentive problems.

Journal

Journal of Accounting and EconomicsElsevier

Published: Jun 1, 2002

References

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