New insights into executive compensation and firm performance: Evidence from a panel of “new economy” firms, 1996‐2002

Giorgio Canarella (Department of Economics and Statistics, California State University, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Arman Gasparyan (College of Business and Economics, California State University, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Publication date: 4 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relation between executive compensation, firm size and firm performance on a panel of the so‐called “new economy” firms in the USA over the period 1996‐2002.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use two measures of performance, total shareholder return and return on assets, and concentrate on total CEO compensation, which includes stock option compensation, as equity‐based compensation practices have been prevalent in new economy firms. The estimation process uses both the feasible generalized least squares method of Parks and Kmenta and the panel corrected standard error method of Beck and Katz. These methodologies investigate error structures that do not conform to the classical ordinary least squares assumptions.

Findings

The econometric results indicate that estimates on firm size are robust to alternative specifications of the error structures. There is evidence however that the effect of firm size on CEO compensation is more significant after the stock market crash of 2000. The opposite holds true for the estimates on firm performance. In addition, estimates on firm performance are more sensitive to the estimation method and the specification of the error structures.

Research limitations/implications

The research presented in this paper is a first step in the direction of understanding the pay to performance relation in the “new economy” industries in the USA. Additional research is warranted, which should extend both the time series and the cross section aspects of the data.

Originality/value

The paper fills an important gap in the existing literature by providing rigorous econometric evidence on the pay to performance relation in the so‐called “new economy” industries. The evidence provided in this paper is relevant as it complements the findings in the literature on executive compensation in the so‐called “old economy” industries, which typically make up the samples of most previous studies.

Keywords

Citation

Canarella, G. and Gasparyan, A. (2008), "New insights into executive compensation and firm performance: Evidence from a panel of “new economy” firms, 1996‐2002", Managerial Finance, Vol. 34 No. 8, pp. 537-554. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074350810874064

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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