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Does CEO debt-like compensation mitigate corporate social irresponsibility?

Chen, L. and He, G. and Krishnan, G. (2023) 'Does CEO debt-like compensation mitigate corporate social irresponsibility?', Accounting Forum .


Corporate social irresponsibility (CSI) is an increasingly relevant topic to today’s business, as CSI may exert stronger impacts on firms than corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, little is known about mechanisms that can constrain such irresponsible actions. We examine whether CEO debt-like compensation (i.e., pension and deferred compensation granted to the CEO of a firm) mitigates CSI, which is proxied by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk exposure. Using media coverage of ESG incidents as a measure, we find that ESG risk exposure is negatively related to CEO debt-like compensation. Furthermore, this relation is stronger when firms have higher distress risks or when CEOs have greater career concerns.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Date accepted:14 March 2023
Date deposited:23 March 2023
Date of first online publication:27 April 2023
Date first made open access:28 April 2023

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