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Does CEO debt-like compensation mitigate corporate social irresponsibility?

Chen, L.; He, G.; Krishnan, G.

Does CEO debt-like compensation mitigate corporate social irresponsibility? Thumbnail


L. Chen

G. Krishnan


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.


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

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 14, 2023
Online Publication Date Apr 27, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 28, 2023
Journal Accounting Forum
Print ISSN 0155-9982
Electronic ISSN 1467-6303
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


Published Journal Article (3.5 Mb)

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Copyright 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.

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