This paper describes the exercise behavior of over 50,000 employees who hold long-term options on employer stock at eight corporations. Employees typically exercise options years before expiration, commonly sacrificing half of the Black-Scholes value. Exercise is strongly associated with recent stock price movements, the market-to-strike ratio, proximity to vesting dates, time to maturity, volatility, and the employee's level within the company. These findings have implications for compensation planners, the FASB as it develops a new accounting standard for options, and financial statement users and preparers who apply and interpret the new FASB standard.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics