Working Paper

Deregulation and the relationship between bank CEO compensation and risk taking


Abstract: The deregulation of the banking industry during the 1990s provides a natural (public policy) experiment for investigating how firms adjust their executive compensation contracts as the environment in which they operate becomes relatively more competitive. Using the Riegle-Neal Act of 1994 as a focal point, we investigate how banks changed the equity-based component of bank CEO compensation contracts. We also examine the relationships between equity- based compensation and risk, capital structure, and investment opportunity set. Consistent with theoretical predictions, we find that after deregulation, the equity- based component of bank CEO compensation increases significantly on average for the industry. Additionally, we find that more risky banks have significantly higher levels of equity-based compensation, as do banks with more investment opportunities. But, more levered banks do not have higher levels of equity-based CEO compensation. Finally, we observe that most of these relationships become more powerful in our post- deregulation period.

Keywords: Bank supervision; Corporate governance;

Access Documents

Authors

Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Working Paper Series

Publication Date: 2003

Number: WP-03-32