Abstract

I analyze the relationship between firm size and the extent to which executive compensation depends on the wealth of the firm's shareholders. I use a simple agency model to motivate an econometric model of this relationship. Estimating this model on chief executive officer (CEO) compensation data using nonlinear least squares, I determine that pay-performance sensitivity (as defined by Jensen and Murphy (1990b)) appears to be approximately inversely proportional to the square root of firm size (however measured). I also analyze the properties of pay- performance sensitivity for “teams” of executives working for the same firm and show it to have similar properties as CEO pay-performance sensitivity.

This content is only available as a PDF.