Literature documents that executives' inside debt holdings (debt-based managerial compensation) such as defined-benefit pensions and retirement funds are often unfunded and unsecured and have long maturities, and thus provide managerial incentives to pursue strategies to avoid the overall firm risk. This study investigates the effect of managerial inside debt compensation relative to equity-based compensation on a firm's dividend payout policy. We find that a inside debt holdings are positively associated with various measures of a firm's dividend payout policy. Additionally, we find empirical evidence in firms with inside debt holdings that the inverse relationship between high default risk measured by KZ index and dividend payout weakens as the portion of inside debt relative to equity-based compensation rises. This finding indicates that the needs for the firm to restrain dividend payouts to equity holders is reduced as the executive's debt-to-equity compensation ratio becomes larger. Overall, the results suggests the mitigating effect of executives' inside debt holdings on the conflicts between bondholders and shareholders can lead to generous payout policy.
Kim, Y., Yun, J., Choi, H.W. and Hwang, G. (2015), "Corporate Payout Policy and CEO‘s Inside Debt Holdings", Journal of Derivatives and Quantitative Studies: 선물연구, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 99-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/JDQS-01-2015-B0005
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