Option awards for Australian CEOs: The who, what and why

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Accounting Review, 2002, 12 (26), pp. 25 - 35
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The compensation structure for Australian CEOs, and especially the extent to which they receive executive stock options, is explored. Evidence suggests that the award of executive stock options is common in Australia, but not in as systematic a manner as has been documented for US CEOs. Where ESOs are awarded, they form a significant component of total compensation, even allowing for limitations in the way we approximate their value. Modelling the use of ESOs shows relatively few empirical regularities, other than a positive association between firm size and ESO use. This is consistent with a view that ESOs are a form of “rent extraction” by CEOs, but it may also reflect a bias towards their use created by accounting rules. © 2002 CPA Australia.
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