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CEP discussion paper

How Does Product Market Competition Shape Incentive Contracts?


This paper studies the effect of product market competition on the explicit compensation packages that firms offer to their CEOs, executives and workers. We use a large sample of both traded and non-traded UK firms and exploit a quasi-natural experiment associated to an increase in competition. The sudden appreciation of the pound in 1996 implied different changes in competition for sectors with different degrees of openness. Our difference in differences estimates show that a higher level of product market competition increases the performance pay sensitivity of compensation schemes, in particular for executives.


Vicente Cuñat and María Guadalupe

May 2005     Paper Number CEPDP0687

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.