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Evaluating the Effects of Equity Incentives Using PSM: Evidence from China

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image of Frontiers of Business Research in China

This paper investigates the effects of equity incentives on firm performance in Chinese listed firms. We address the sample selection problem by employing the propensity score matching methodology. Results show that, (1) On the whole, performance is positively related to equity incentives even after controlling for sample selection bias; (2) The final control rights have an important impact on the effects of equity incentives. The execution of equity incentives in privately owned firms can significantly decrease the agency costs between shareholders and managers, but such effects cannot be observed in state-owned firms; (3) Effects of equity incentives depend on the incentive type, that is, comparing to stock-based incentives, option-based incentives can reduce the agency costs significantly, thus are more effective; (4) Ownership structure also has important impacts on the effects of equity incentives. The agency costs decrease in firms with more decentralized ownership after introducing equity incentive, while in concentrated firms the effect is negligible.


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