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Who posts performance bonds and why?: evidence from China's CEOs

Bryson, Alex, Forth, John and Zhou, Minghai (2014) Who posts performance bonds and why?: evidence from China's CEOs. China Economic Review, 30 . pp. 520-529. ISSN 1043-951X

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Abstract

Despite their theoretical value in tackling principal–agent problems at low cost to firms there is almost no empirical literature on the prevalence and correlates of performance bonds posted by corporate executives. We show that they are an important feature in today's CEO labour market in China: around one-tenth of corporations deploy performance bonds and they are equivalent to around 14% of CEO cash compensation. Consistent with principal–agent theory bonds are negatively associated with firm sales volatility. The complementarity between bonds and other incentive mechanisms such as bonuses and stock holding is consistent with optimal reward structures for multi-tasking agents. Those CEOs posting bonds are higher in the Communist Party ranks, were promoted via tournaments, and run larger firms, findings consistent with using bonds as an incentive to attract and retain the most able workers. Although state-owned enterprises are just as likely as privately owned ones to use bonds in CEO contracts, some of the theoretical predictions which assume profit-maximising firms do not hold where the state has an ownership stake.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/china-economic-re...
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors © CC-BY-3.0
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: G - Financial Economics > G3 - Corporate Finance and Governance > G34 - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill, Training, Occupation, etc.
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J33 - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting > M1 - Business Administration > M12 - Personnel Management
M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting > M5 - Personnel Economics > M52 - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects (stock options, fringe benefits, incentives, family support programs, seniority issues)
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O16 - Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
P - Economic Systems > P3 - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions > P31 - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Funders: ESRC, NSFC
Projects: RES-538-25-0029, 71161130175
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2014 11:32
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/56360/

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