Stock-based compensation and ceo (dis)incentives

Efraim Benmelech*, Eugene Kandel, Pietro Veronesi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


The use of stock-based compensation as a solution to agency problems between shareholders and managers has increased dramatically since the early 1990s. We show that in a dynamic rational expectations model with asymmetric information, stock-based compensation not only induces managers to exert costly effort, but also induces them to conceal bad news about future growth options and to choose suboptimal investment policies to support the pretense. This leads to a severe overvaluation and a subsequent crash in the stock price. Our model produces many predictions that are consistent with the empirical evidence and are relevant to understanding the current crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1769-1820
Number of pages52
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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