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On Rescissions in Executive Stock Options

Authors: Brenner, Menachem
Sundaram, Rangarajan K.
Yermack, David
Issue Date: 15-Apr-2002
Series/Report no.: FIN-02-014
Abstract: We study executive stock options that permit the option holder to rescind an exercise decision, returning the shares acquired to the company and obtaining a refund of the exercise price. Rescissions accurred at a number of U.S. companies in 2000 after the large decline in internet stocks, and have been widely condemned as a weakening of incentives. To the contrary, we find that in many situations rescinable options dominate ordinary option by delivering greater value and stronger incentives to the employee at a lower cost to the firm. The attractiveness of rescinable option arises as a consequence of the income tax treatment of most executive stock option in the U.S.
Appears in Collections:Finance Working Papers

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