A general framework for evaluating executive stock options

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35 Scopus citations


Motivated by recent recommendations by both European and American accounting standards boards that executive stock options be expensed in firms' statements, we provide an analytical and flexible framework for their evaluation. Our approach takes into account the vesting period, American style, resetting and reloading provisions that are features of many option programs, and also considers the trading restriction on executives. We identify a recursive structure in the stream of options that are granted to the executive over the course of her employment. By exploiting this, we are able to obtain a near-explicit formula for the option value. This enables us to discuss the joint effects of the different features on the exercising strategies and firms' granting cost. Especially, we highlight some significant interactions among these features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2317-2349
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Economic Dynamics and Control
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Control and Optimization
  • Applied Mathematics


  • American style
  • Executive stock options
  • Reload
  • Repricing
  • Vesting period


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