An interesting paper on CEO compensation, by Martijn Cremers (Yale Mgmt. School) and Darius Palia (Rutgers B-School), can be found here. The abstract summarizing key findings follows.
"This paper studies how the CEO pay level and pay-performance sensitivity vary with her tenure in the firm. Predictions of four theories are considered: entrenchment, learning, career concerns and dynamic contracting hypotheses. We document a positive association between tenure and CEO pay levels, and an analogous positive relation between tenure and the CEO’s pay-performance sensitivity. The firm’s information environment has a weak impact on the tenure-pay relation. We also find no significant differences in the tenure-pay relation for CEOs hired from inside versus outside the firm. Firms with higher CEO Pay Slice or Gindex seem to have a higher tenure-pay level association when compared to firms with lower CPS or Gindex. No such effect is found for the CEO’s pay-performance sensitivity. Our results are generally most consistent with the career concerns and dynamic contracting hypotheses."