Jee Eun Shin - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School
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Jee Eun Shin


Doctoral Student

Jee Eun Shin is a doctoral student in the Accounting & Management Unit at Harvard Business School. Her main research interests are in managerial accounting: performance measurement, efficient contract design, internal control systems and also issues that deal with executive compensation. She is interested in how organizations can maximize performance by effectively taking into account employee, managerial, and organizational incentives whether in the form of explicit contracts or implicit mechanisms.  

Jee Eun was born in Germany and moved to Korea after middle school. She received her B.A. in Economics from Yonsei University in 2011. An internship at Pricewaterhouse Coopers motivated her to decide to study Accounting further. She completed her M.S. in Accounting at Seoul National University in 2013 where she also worked as a research and teaching assistant.
Working Papers
  1. An Evaluation of Compensation Benchmarking Peer Groups Based on Mutual Peer-Designating Behaviors

    Jee Eun Shin

    In this paper, I argue that firms mutually recognizing each other as compensation benchmarking peers constitute viable competitors in the same CEO labor market, and that non-mutual peer relationships can serve as a tool to evaluate firms’ executive compensation practices. In particular, I ask why some of the firm’s chosen peers do not consider to select the base firm back despite listing other firms as compensation benchmarking peers. I hypothesize that such one-sided peer choices are driven either by rent extraction or motivational motives. My analyses show that firms with a larger proportion of such one-sided peer choices are associated with higher compensation via setting a higher benchmark level. Consistent with rent extraction motives, such firms are also associated with higher excess compensation and lower firm performance. In additional analyses, I show that the proportion of one-sided peers increases when firms adjust their benchmark level upward by adding higher compensated peers and/or dropping lower compensated peers. Collectively, the findings suggest that patterns in mutual compensation benchmarking peer-designating behaviors can serve as a tool to evaluate firms’ executive compensation practices.

    Keywords: Executive Compensation;

  2. Relative Performance Benchmarks: Do Boards Follow the Informativeness Principle?

    Paul Ma, Jee Eun Shin and Charles C.Y. Wang

    Relative total shareholder return (rTSR) is increasingly used to incentivize and evaluate managers. Although compensation experts acknowledge a primary objective is to filter shocks unrelated to managerial performance, we document that a significant subset of firms, who choose index-based rTSR-benchmarks in lieu of specific peers, do not adequately achieve this objective. Structural estimates reveal that noisy-benchmark selection implies significant negative performance consequences. Reduced-form analysis shows that a firm's choice of index-based benchmarking is 1) driven by its compensation consultants' systematic tendencies and governance-related frictions, and 2) associated with lower ROA, suggesting noisy-benchmark selection is a novel indicator of weak governance.

    Keywords: Empirical contract theory; Executive Compensation; common shock filtration; search-based peers; board of directors; corporate governance; Relative TSR; career concerns; Compensation Consultants; Governing and Advisory Boards; Executive Compensation; Performance Evaluation; Corporate Governance;

    Citation:

    Ma, Paul, Jee Eun Shin, and Charles C.Y. Wang. "Relative Performance Benchmarks: Do Boards Follow the Informativeness Principle?" Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 17-039, November 2016. (Revised February 2018.)  View Details
Cases and Teaching Materials
  1. Buffer.com (B)

    Susanna Gallani, Tiffany Y. Chang, Brian J. Hall and Jee Eun Shin

    Buffer decided to release its salaries and compensation calculation formula to the public, and the public reaction was greater and more positive than they would have imagined. The company experienced both an increase in volume and a change in the kinds of inbound applications they received. As the company continued to grow, Buffer's senior leaders continued to revise the compensation formula based on feedback both internally and from the public. Particularly, they hoped to strengthen the link between pay and performance, which in the current version of the formula was incorporated using a loosely defined "experience level" component. However, defining clear performance metrics and experience levels was not an easy task.

    Keywords: compensation; compensation design; company values; culture; transparency; attraction; selection; performance measurement; performance measures; performance metrics; startup management; Compensation and Benefits; Organizational Culture; Values and Beliefs; Performance Evaluation; Measurement and Metrics;

    Citation:

    Gallani, Susanna, Tiffany Y. Chang, Brian J. Hall, and Jee Eun Shin. "Buffer.com (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 917-020, May 2017.  View Details
  2. Buffer.com

    Susanna Gallani, Tiffany Y. Chang, Brian J. Hall and Jee Eun Shin

    Social media company Buffer wanted to establish clear company values early in its growth. One of these values was a commitment to transparency in its company practices. Buffer openly shared its business strategies and fundraising decks, among lots of other information. Even when they were hacked, the company live-blogged updates to keep their users informed as the situation unfolded. Having internally released each employee's salary and equity details with no pushback, the company now contemplated sharing compensation information transparently with the general public.

    Keywords: compensation; compensation design; company values; culture; transparency; Compensation and Benefits; Organizational Culture; Values and Beliefs;

    Citation:

    Gallani, Susanna, Tiffany Y. Chang, Brian J. Hall, and Jee Eun Shin. "Buffer.com." Harvard Business School Case 917-019, May 2017.  View Details