The Impact Of Corporate Governance And The Sarbanes-Oxley Act On CEO Compensation

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Mahmoud M. Nourayi
Lawrence Kalbers
Frank P. Daroca


CEO Compensation and Corporate Governance, CEO Compensation and Sarbanes-Oxley Act, SOX, Corporate Governance and Sarbanes-Oxley Act


This paper examines the effects of corporate governance on CEO compensation in light of regulatory controls introduced by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX).  The influence of economic and corporate governance variables on incentive-based CEO compensation are considered, using cross-section time-series panel data that includes multiple observations for the years 1999 to 2005.  As expected, sales, firm performance (returns), and CEO age were found to positively affect the incentive components of CEO compensation.  CEO duality, board size, and the percentage of outside directors had a significant influence on CEO compensation in the pre-SOX, but not post-SOX, period.  The influences of these three variables in the pre-SOX period were not in the expected directions. Stratification of our sample into two groups by size reveals similarities and differences between smaller and larger firms. For both groups, economic determinants are more dominant than corporate governance variables as determinants of incentive-based CEO compensation.  We find differences in the pattern and significance of variables between the smaller and larger firms, particularly for corporate governance variables, pre- and post-SOX. These results suggest that the effectiveness of corporate governance mechanisms may vary by size of company.


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