Struktur und Höhe der Vorstandsvergütung: Fakten und Mythen

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Übersichtsartikel diskutiert die Literatur über die Vergütung der Vorstände von Aktiengesellschaften im Lichte der jüngeren öffentlichen Debatte. Der starke A nstieg der Vorstandsgehälter in den letzten Jahrzehnten im Vergleich zu anderen Spitzenverdienern und im Vergleich zu den gestiegenen Unternehmenswerten stellt sich als deutlich weniger spektakulär heraus als gemeinhin angenommen. Erklärungen der Gehaltsdynamik durch eine Verknappung von Führungstalent sind erfolgreicher als solche, die Defizite der Corporate Governance verantwortlich machen. Die These einer Entkopplung der Gehälter von der Leistung hält einer wissenschaftlichen Überprüfung ebenso wenig stand wie die Behauptung, die Vergütungspraxis, insbesondere die der Banken, sei ein Hauptfaktor der Finanzkrise gewesen. Insgesamt mahnt dieser Artikel zu Vorsicht bei der Regulierung der Vorstandsvergütung an, zumal ein objektiver Maßstab für korrekte Vergütungsstrukturen fehlt.

Abstract

This survey article discusses the literature on executive compensation in light of the recent public debate. It concludes that the sharp increase in executive compensation during the last decades is less spectacular than commonly assumed if compared to the increase in company values or to the wage increases for other groups of top income earners. Explanations of the dynamics of executive salaries based on the increased scarcity of executive talent are more successful than those that diagnose deficits in corporate governance. The hypothesis that pay is not related to performance does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Similarly, the claim that executive compensation is one of the main culprits in the recent financial crisis is also unfounded. Overall, this article advises caution on initiatives to regulate executive pay, one main reason being the lack of an objective benchmark for optimal compensation structures.

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Correspondence to Ph.D. Ernst Maug.

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Wir danken der Rudolf von Bennigsen-Foerder-Stiftung für finanzielle Unterstützung. Die Rudolf von Bennigsen-Foerder-Stiftung wurde durch die VEBA AG, heute E.ON AG, in der Verwaltung des Stifterverbandes mit dem Zweck der Förderung von Wissenschaft und Bildung errichtet. Die Auffassungen in diesem Artikel sind Eigenmeinung der Autoren und nicht der Stiftung.

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Maug, E., Albrecht, B. Struktur und Höhe der Vorstandsvergütung: Fakten und Mythen. Schmalenbachs Z betriebswirtsch Forsch 63, 858–881 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03372863

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JEL-Classification

  • G01
  • G30
  • G38
  • M52

Keywords

  • Executive Compensation
  • Financial Crisis
  • Incentives
  • Regulation
  • Anreizstruktur
  • Finanzkrise
  • Regulierung
  • Vorstandsvergütung