Much of the research on management compensation focuses on the level and structure of executives’ pay. In this study, we examine a compensation element that has not received so far considerable research attention—the dispersion of compensation across managers—and its impact on firm performance. We examine the implications of two theoretical models dealing with pay dispersion—tournament versus equity fairness. Tournament theory stipulates that a large pay dispersion provides strong incentives to highly qualified managers, leading to higher efforts and improved enterprise performance, while arguments for equity fairness suggest that greater pay dispersion increases envy and dysfunctional behavior among team members, adversely affecting performance. Consistent with tournament theory, we find that firm performance, measured by either Tobin’s Q or stock performance, is positively associated with the dispersion of management compensation. We also document that the positive association between firm performance and pay dispersion is stronger in firms with high agency costs related to managerial discretion. Furthermore, effective corporate governance, especially high board independence, strengthens the positive association between firm performance and pay dispersion. Our findings thus add to the compensation literature a potentially important dimension: managerial pay dispersion.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 2, 2007
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud