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Jinlan Ni

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Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies





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This paper examines CEO pay dispersion for the listed companies in China. We apply a two-tier stochastic frontier model to the CEO compensation framework where asymmetric information generates a surplus between the minimum wage that CEOs accept and the maximum payment that firms offer. This surplus leads to CEO pay dispersion coming from the negotiation power between the CEO and the firm. We generate the surplus extracted by each CEO-firm pair and analyze how corporate governance affects them. An empirical analysis finds that: (1) On average, CEOs are paid 23.26% more than the benchmark; (2) additionally, we examine the bargaining power in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and non-state-owned enterprises (non-SOEs). We find that CEOs in SOEs have less bargaining power due to compensation regulations. We then examine compensation for new CEOs hired externally and find that CEOs hired externally have less bargaining power on average; and (3) corporate governance has a significant effect on the salary bargaining power of each agent. More specifically, the CEO-Chairman dummy has a significant positive effect on the bargaining power of firms and CEOs, but the latter is larger. Board size has a negative effect on both. Independent directors help improve the bargaining power of the firms and board meeting times help enhance the bargaining power of the CEOs. Equity concentration has a significant negative effect on both sides.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies on 6 March 2018, available online:

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