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Author:Sun, Bo 

Working Paper
Risk Choices and Compensation Design

We analyze the impact of bad-tail risks on managerial pay functions, especially the decision to pay managers in stock or in options. In contrast to conventional wisdom, we find that options are often a superior vehicle for limiting managerial incentives to take bad-tail risks while providing incentives to exert effort. Arrangements similar to collar options are able to incent the desired project choice in wider range of circumstances than call options or stock. However, information requirements appear high. We briefly explore alternatives with features similar to maluses and clawbacks, which ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1130

Working Paper
Asset returns with earnings management

The paper investigates stock return dynamics in an environment where executives have an incentive to maximize their compensation by artificially inflating earnings. A principal-agent model with financial reporting and managerial effort is embedded in a Lucas asset-pricing model with periodic revelations of the firm's underlying profitability. The return process generated from the model is consistent with a range of financial anomalies observed in the return data: volatility clustering, asymmetric volatility, and increased idiosyncratic volatility. The calibration results further indicate that ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 988

Working Paper
Uncertainty, Curreny Exess Returns, and Risk Reversals

In this paper we provide strong evidence that heightened uncertainty in the U.S. real economy or financial markets significantly raises excess returns to the currency carry trade. We posit that this works through the influence of uncertainty on global investors' risk preferences. Macro and financial uncertainty also lower foreign exchange risk reversals, an effect that is particularly strong for high interest rate portfolios. Our results are consistent with the idea that an increase in uncertainty regarding the U.S. economy or financial markets increases investors' risk aversion, which in ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1196

Working Paper
Incentive Contracting Under Ambiguity Aversion

This paper studies a principal-agent model in which the information on future firm performance is ambiguous and the agent is averse to ambiguity. We show that if firm risk is ambiguous, while stocks always induce the agent to perceive a high risk, options can induce him to perceive a low risk. As a result, options can be less costly in incentivizing the agent than stocks in the presence of ambiguity. In addition, we show that providing the agent with more incentives would induce the agent to perceive a higher risk, and there is a discontinuous jump in the compensation cost as incentives ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1195

Working Paper
Contracting with Feedback

We study the effect of financial market conditions on managerial compensation structure. First, we analyze the optimal pay-for-performance in a model in which corporate decisions and firm value are both endogenous to trading due to feedback from information contained in stock prices. In a less frictional financial market, the improved information content of stock prices helps guide managerial decisions, and this information substitutes out part of the direct incentive provision from compensation contracts. Thus, the optimal pay-for-performance is lowered in response to reductions in market ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1143

Working Paper
Limited market participation and asset prices in the presence of earnings management

We examine the role of earnings management in explaining the properties of asset prices and stock market participation. We demonstrate that investors' uncertainty about the extent of manipulation can cause excess movements in stock price relative to fluctuations in output. When faced with information asymmetry about fundamentals in the presence of earnings management, investors demand a higher equity premium for bearing the additional risk associated with their payoffs. In addition, when investors have heterogeneous beliefs about managerial manipulation, the dispersion in belief endogenously ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1019

Working Paper
Taxonomy of Global Risk, Uncertainty, and Volatility Measures

A large number of measures for monitoring risk and uncertainty surrounding macroeconomic and financial outcomes have been proposed in the literature, and these measures are frequently used by market participants, policy makers, and researchers in their analyses. However, risk and uncertainty measures differ across multiple dimensions, including the method of calculation, the underlying outcome (that is, the asset price or macroeconomic variable), and the horizon at which they are calculated. Therefore, in this paper, we review the literature on global risk, uncertainty, and volatility ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1216

Working Paper
Managerial Compensation under Privately-Observed Hedging

This paper studies how private information in hedging outcomes affects the design of managerial compensation when hedging instruments serve as a double-edged sword in that they may be used for both corporate hedging and earnings management. On the one hand, financial vehicles can offer customized contracts that are closely tailored to manage specific risk and improve hedging efficiency. On the other hand, involvement in hedging may give rise to manipulation through misstatement of the value estimates. We show that the use of privately-observed hedging may actually require greater ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1160

Working Paper
Monetary Policy Uncertainty

We construct new measures of uncertainty about Federal Reserve policy actions and their consequences - monetary policy uncertainty (MPU) indexes. We show that, under a variety of VAR identification schemes, positive shocks to uncertainty about monetary policy robustly raise credit spreads and reduce output. The effects are of comparable magnitude to those of conventional monetary policy shocks. We evaluate the usefulness of our MPU indexes, and examine the influence of Fed communication. Our analysis suggests that policy rate normalization that is accompanied by reduced uncertainty can help ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1215

Working Paper
Relative Wealth Concerns, Executive Compensation, and Systemic Risk-Taking

Given the recent empirical evidence on peer effects in CEO compensation, this paper theoretically examines how relative wealth concerns, in which a manager?s satisfaction with his own compensation depends on the compensation of other managers, affect the equilibrium contracting strategy and managerial risk-taking. We find that such externalities can generate pay-for-luck as an efficient compensation vehicle in equilibrium. In expectation of pay-for-luck in other firms, tying managerial pay to luck provides insurance to managers against a compensation shortfall relative to executive peers ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1164

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