- Performance measurement and information production (2004)
- When performance measures are used for evaluation purposes, agents have some incentives to learn how their actions affect these measures. We show that the use of imperfect performance measures can cause an agent to devote too many resources (too much effort) to acquiring information. Doing so can be costly to the principal because the agent can use information to game the performance measure to the detriment of the principal. We analyze the impact of endogenous information acquisition on the optimal incentive strength and the quality of the performance measure used.
- Board committees, CEO compensation, and earnings management (2007)
- We analyze the effect of committee formation on how corporate boards perform two main functions: setting CEO pay and overseeing the financial reporting process. The use of performance-based pay schemes induces the CEO to manipulate earnings, which leads to an increased need for board oversight. If the whole board is responsible for both functions, it is inclined to provide the CEO with a compensation scheme that is relatively insensitive to performance in order to reduce the burden of subsequent monitoring. When the functions are separated through the formation of committees, the compensation committee is willing to choose a higher pay-performance sensitivity as the increased cost of oversight is borne by the audit committee. Our model generates predictions relating the board committee structure to the pay-performance sensitivity of CEO compensation, the quality of board oversight, and the level of earnings management.
- Board independence and CEO turnover (2005)
- It is widely believed that the ideal board in corporations is composed almost entirely of independent (outside) directors. In contrast, this paper shows that some lack of board independence can be in the interest of shareholders. This follows because a lack of board independence serves as a substitute for commitment. Boards that are dependent on the incumbent CEO adopt a less aggressive CEO replacement rule than independent boards. While this behavior is inefficient ex post, it has positive ex ante incentive effects. The model suggests that independent boards (dependent boards) are most valuable to shareholders if the problem of providing appropriate incentives to the CEO is weak (severe).
- The ignored performance measure (2003)
- This paper studies a setting in which a risk averse agent must be motivated to work on two tasks: he (1) evaluates a new project and, if adopted, (2) manages it. While a performance measure which is informative of an agent´s action is typically valuable because it can be used to improve the risk sharing of the contract, this is not necessarily the case in this two-task setting. I provide a sufficient condition under which a performance measure that is informative of the second task is worthless for contracting despite the agent being risk averse. This shows that information content is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for a performance measure to be valuable.