Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

Prior research finds that earnings restatements are linked to CEOs' excessive option-based compensation and equity holdings. In this paper, we investigate whether firms that experience earnings restatements recontract with their CEOs to reduce their option-based compensation and if so, whether this leads to improved firm performance. Based on 289 restatement firms over the period 1997–2001, we find that the proportion of CEOs' compensation in the form of options declines significantly in the two years following the restatement. Furthermore, we document that this reduction is accompanied by a decrease in the riskiness of investments, as reflected in lower stock return volatility and subsequent improvements in operating performance. Our results suggest that a decrease in option-based compensation reduces CEOs' incentives to take excessively risky investments, resulting in improved profitability. Overall, our findings provide insights into the design and efficacy of CEO compensation contracts.

Discipline

Accounting | Corporate Finance

Research Areas

Financial Performance Analysis

Publication

Accounting Review

Volume

83

Issue

5

First Page

1217

Last Page

1250

ISSN

0001-4826

Identifier

10.2308/accr.2008.83.5.1217

Publisher

American Accounting Association

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