Leadership

Matching Firms, Managers, And Incentives

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Executive Summary

The author provides evidence on the match between firms, managers, and incentives using a new survey that contains information on managers' risk preferences and human capital, on their compensation schemes, and on the firms they work for. The data is consistent with the equilibrium correlations predicted by a model where firms with different ownership structure and managers with different risk aversion and talent match endogenously through incentive contracts. The model predicts and the data support that, compared to widely-held firms, family firms use contracts that are less sensitive to performance; these contracts attract less talented and more risk averse managers; these managers work less hard, earn less, and display lower job satisfaction

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