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Motives of Stock Option Incentive Design, Ownership, and Inefficient Investment

Wei Shan () and Ran An ()
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Wei Shan: School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
Ran An: Library, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 10, 1-19

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of stock option incentives on inefficient investment. Specifically, based on the motive of design, we divide stock option incentives into incentive-driven and welfare-driven incentives. Our research is based on the panel data of 511 Chinese listed companies that declared stock option incentives from 2010 to 2014, including both incentive-driven and welfare-driven incentives. Our research shows that different types of stock option incentives have different effects on inefficient investment. Generally, incentive-driven stock option incentives reduce inefficient investment, whereas welfare-driven stock option incentives do not reduce inefficient investment, but increase it. However, there is a weakening effect in state-owned enterprises due to two opposite factors, numerous restrictions and more self-interested managers. Additionally, the paper provides implications that some stock options are manipulated by managers in the designing stage in order to pursue self-interests, and therefore monitoring abnormal share price movement and performance hurdles is important to safeguard the wealth of shareholders and promote effective motivation for managers.

Keywords: stock option incentive; inefficient investment; state-owned enterprises; ownership; abnormal return (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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