Manager Motivation and Executive Pay

In businesses where the manager is not the owner, there is another manifestation of the principal-agent problem. For example, in a typical corporation, the owners are stockholders, many of whom are not involved in the actual production activities. The board of directors hires executive management to act as the agents of the shareholders, who are the principals in this context. The intent of the arrangement is that the executives will manage the corporation in the best long-term interests of the shareholders. However, the executives, though they may own some of the corporation’s shares, are largely rewarded via salaries, bonuses, and other perquisites. Structuring executive contracts that both motivate the ...

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