The main purpose of this paper is to provide evidence on the effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on stock ownership and the various measures of pay-performance sensitivity of CEOs' wealth. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) provides a natural experiment for examining how stock ownership and executive pay structure adapt to a change in regulatory environment. Using annual compensation data of S&P 1,500 firms in 1994-2005, we examine the impact of SOX on stock ownership and pay-performance sensitivity of CEOs. Consistent with our expectations, we find that in light of SOX: (1) stock ownership and (2) the total pay-performance sensitivity of CEOs have decreased substantially, indicating that SOX induces a weaker incentive alignment between shareholders and CEOs. In contrast, we find that after SOX stock ownership and the total pay-performance sensitivity of CEOs have remained unchanged in the regulated industries.
- Pay-performance sensitivity
- Stock ownership
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)