This paper studies the evolution and incentive effects of the stock-options allotted to the top-managers of the CAC40’s 18 large companies between 1994 and 2003. A database linked to 184 plans of stock-options is used. Three periods of analysis were considered: before, during and after the financial bubble of the 1990’s end. Our results show that the stock-options in France evolved in a spectacular way between 1994 and 2003. Their values were closely related to the stock prices and strike variations. Moreover, we find that the stock-options sensitivity to volatility is more significant during the bubble than before or after. Thus the incentives created by the stock-options are not monotonous, they are a function of the market trends.
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