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Keywords:

  • Executive compensation;
  • corporate governance;
  • shareholder power;
  • managerial power
  • G30;
  • G34;
  • D86;
  • L20;
  • M52

Abstract

This paper presents a model of the firm in which the manager has discretion over his own compensation, constrained only by the threat of shareholder intervention. The model addresses two main questions. How does shareholder power affect managers' compensation and their incentives to maximise firm value? And what is the optimal level of shareholder power? Expectedly, the model shows that increasing shareholder power leads to lower managerial pay. Greater shareholder power, however, also weakens the manager's incentives to maximise value and may even lead to lower profits for shareholders. There might, thus, be too much, as well as too little, shareholder power. The model characterises the optimal level of shareholder power and yields predictions about the relation between shareholder power, managerial pay, performance and firm characteristics.