Publication Date



Upjohn Institute working paper ; 13-192




This paper estimates the effect of increasing shareholder “voice” in corporations through a new governance rule that provides shareholders with a regular vote on pay: Say on Pay. We apply a regression discontinuity design to Say on Pay shareholder proposals to deal with prior expectations and the endogeneity of internal governance rules. Adopting Say on Pay leads to large increases in market value (5.4 percent), firm profitability, and long-term performance. In contrast, we find small effects on the level and structure of pay. This suggests that Say on Pay operates as a regular confidence vote, increasing efficiency, and market value.

Issue Date

February 2013

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Wages, health insurance and other benefits


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Cuñat, Vicente, Mireia Gine, and Maria Guadalupe. 2013. "Say Pays! Shareholder Voice and Firm Performance." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 13-192. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.