Equity Vesting and Investment

Edmans, A, Fang, V and Lewellen, K (2017) Equity Vesting and Investment. Review of Financial Studies, 30 (7). pp. 2229-2271. ISSN 0893-9454 OPEN ACCESS


This paper links the CEO’s concerns for the current stock price to reductions in real investment. These concerns depend on the amount of equity he intends to sell in the short-term, but actual equity sales are an endogenous decision. We use the amount of stock and options scheduled to vest in a given year as an instrument for equity sales. Such vesting is determined by equity grants made several years prior, and thus unlikely driven by current investment opportunities. An interquartile increase in instrumented equity sales is associated with a decline of 0.25% in the growth of R&D/assets, 4.6% of the average R&D/assets ratio. Vesting-induced equity sales also increase the likelihood of meeting or marginally beating analyst earnings forecasts, and are associated with higher returns to earnings announcements. More broadly, by introducing a measure of incentives that is not driven by the current contracting environment – vesting-induced equity sales – our paper suggests that CEO contracts affect real outcomes.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Finance
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This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Review of Financial Studies following peer review.

The version of record: Alex Edmans, Vivian W. Fang, Katharina A. Lewellen; 'Equity vesting and investment', Review of Financial Studies 2017; 30(7); pp.2229-2271 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/rfs/article/doi/10.1093/rfs/hhx018/3058111/Equity-Vesting-and-Investment and at: https://doi.org/10.1093/rfs/hhx018

Funder Name: European Research Council
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2017 12:44
Date of first compliant deposit: 10 Jan 2017
Subjects: Top management
Share prices
Pay incentives
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 01:52
URI: https://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/850

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