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Overcriminalization and CEO pay

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An under-studied phenomenon: to what extent is higher CEO pay a result of the increased frequency with which prosecutors destroy the lives of CEOs by criminalizing unsuccessful business decisions or arbitrarily retroactively selectively criminalizing common business practices (compare Broadcom and Apple on question of options backdating)? Economic theory would predict that increased chances of having your wealth stripped and being sent to prison for years would require higher compensation ex ante. After Larry Ribstein's death, I'm not aware of anyone considering this at all. Today's DOJ has been surprisingly restrained in not prosecuting executives for foolish investments in the real estate bubble, and are largely being criticized, rather than praised, for their forebearance. Which academic is on the criminalization-of-risk beat these days?

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


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The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.