Managerial Incentives and Stock Price Manipulation

  • Author(s): LIN PENG, AILSA RÖELL
  • Published: Mar 17, 2014
  • Pages: 487-526
  • DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12129


We present a rational expectations model of optimal executive compensation in a setting where managers are in a position to manipulate short‐term stock prices and the manipulation propensity is uncertain. We analyze the tradeoffs involved in conditioning pay on long‐ versus short‐term performance and show how manipulation, and investors' uncertainty about it, affects the equilibrium pay contract and the informativeness of prices. Firm and manager characteristics determine the optimal compensation scheme: the strength of incentives, the pay horizon, and the use of options. We consider how corporate governance and disclosure regulations can help create an environment that enables better contracting.

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