NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Yaniv Grinstein

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Working Papers

December 2006Lucky Directors
with Lucian A. Bebchuk, Urs Peyer: w12811
While prior empirical work and much public attention have focused on the opportunistic timing of executives' grants, we provide in this paper evidence that outside directors' option grants have also been favorably timed to an extent that cannot be fully explained by sheer luck. Examining events in which public firms granted options to outside directors during 1996-2005, we find that 9% were "lucky grant events" falling on days with a stock price equal to a monthly low. We estimate that about 800 lucky grant events owed their status to opportunistic timing, and that about 460 firms and 1400 outside directors were associated with grant events produced by such timing. There is evidence that the opportunistic timing of director grant events has been to a substantial extent the product of backd...
Lucky CEOs
with Lucian A. Bebchuk, Urs Peyer: w12771
We study the relation between corporate governance and opportunistic timing of CEO option grants via backdating or otherwise. Our methodology focuses on how grant date prices rank within the price distribution of the grant month. During 1996-2005, about 12% of firms provided one or more lucky grant -- defined as grants given at the lowest price of the month -- due to opportunistic timing. Lucky grants were more likely when the board did not have a majority of independent directors and/or the CEO had longer tenure -- factors associated with increased influence of the CEO on pay-setting. We find no evidence that gains from manipulated grants served as a substitute for compensation paid through other sources; total reported compensation from such sources was higher in firms providing lucky gr...
December 2005Firm Expansion and CEO Pay
with Lucian Bebchuk: w11886
We study the extent to which decisions to expand firm size are associated with increases in subsequent CEO compensation. Controlling for past stock performance, we find a positive correlation between CEO compensation and the CEO's past decisions to increase firm size. This correlation is economically meaningful; for example, other things being equal, CEOs who in the preceding three years were in the top quartile in terms of expanding by increasing the number of shares outstanding receive compensation that is higher by one-third than the compensation of CEOs belonging to the bottom quartile. We also find that stock returns are correlated with subsequent CEO pay only to the extent that they contribute to expanding firm size; only the component of past stock returns not distributed as dividen...
June 2005The Growth of Executive Pay
with Lucian Bebchuk: w11443
This paper examines both empirically and theoretically the growth of U.S. executive pay during the period 1993-2003. During this period, pay has grown much beyond the increase that could be explained by changes in firm size, performance and industry classification. Had the relationship of compensation to size, performance and industry classification remained the same in 2003 as it was in 1993, mean compensation in 2003 would have been only about half of its actual size. During the 1993-2003 period, equity-based compensation has increased considerably in both new economy and old economy firms, but this growth has not been accompanied by a substitution effect, i.e., a reduction in non-equity compensation. The aggregate compensation paid by public companies to their top-five executives during...

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