Working Paper Series
We support in-depth, multidisciplinary research that carefully examines the conceptual frameworks of economic thinking. This series focuses on critical areas in the discipline that are relevant right now.
The Value-Extracting CEO: How Executive Stock-Based Pay Undermines Investment in Productive Capabilities
The business corporation is the central economic institution in a modern economy. A company’s senior executives, with the advice and support of the board of directors, are responsible for the allocation of corporate resources to investments in productive capabilities. Senior executives also advise the board on the extent to which, given the need to invest in productive capabilities, the company can afford to make cash distributions to shareholders. Motivating corporate resource-allocation decisions are the modes of remuneration that incentivize and reward the top executives of these companies. A sound analysis of the operation and performance of a modern economy requires an understanding of not only how much these executives are paid but also the ways in which the prevailing system of executive pay influences their decisions to allocate corporate resources. Read more