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Does product market competition reduce agency costs?

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  • Jagannathan, Ravi
  • Srinivasan, Shaker B.

Abstract

The folk wisdom is that competition reduces agency costs. We provide indirect empirical support for this view. We argue that the temptation to retain cash and engage in less productive activities is more severe for firms in less competitive industries. Hence an unanticipated increase in cash-flow due to higher past returns is more likely to lead to a reduction in leverage as well as a lowering of future returns for firms in less competitive environments. Current leverage will therefore be negatively related to past returns and positively related to future returns for such firms. In contrast, for firms in more competitive industries, the negative relation between past returns and current leverage will be attenuated. Theory suggests that the relation between current leverage and future returns for such firms will be zero or negative. Using a proxy to distinguish firms in less competitive industries and data for 165 single business firms in the U.S.A., we provide empirical supports for our arguments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The North American Journal of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 10 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 387-399

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:10:y:1999:i:2:p:387-399

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620163

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  1. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
  2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-91, July.
  3. Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The effect of capital structure on a firm's liquidation decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 137-151, March.
  4. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  5. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  6. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  7. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  8. repec:cdl:anderf:5435 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Glazer, Jacob & Israel, Ronen, 1990. "Managerial incentives and financial signaling in product market competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280, June.
  10. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Franklin Allen, . "Capital Structure and Imperfect Competition in Product Markets (Revision of 24-84; Revised: 11-87)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 20-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Harvey, Campbell R. & Lins, Karl V. & Roper, Andrew H., 2004. "The effect of capital structure when expected agency costs are extreme," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 3-30, October.
  2. Hashem Valipour & Javad Moradi & Ehsan Heshmatzade, 2013. "Studying the Effect of Market Competition on the Auditing Fees and the Operational Costs Efficiency as the Agency Costs Indexes," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 3(3), pages 95-104, July.
  3. Gaëtan Nicodème & Jacques-Bernard Sauner-Leroy, 2007. "Product Market Reforms and Productivity: A Review of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature on the Transmission Channels," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 53-72, March.
  4. Ahmed Ennasri, 2010. "Incitations Managériales et Concurrence : Synthèse de la Littérature," Studies and Syntheses 10-03, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Oct 2010.
  5. Fabio Schiantarelli, 2005. "Product Market Regulation and Macroeconomic Performance: A Review of Cross Country Evidence," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 623, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 04 Aug 2008.
  6. Massa, Massimo & Rehman, Zahid & Vermaelen, Theo, 2007. "Mimicking repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 624-666, June.
  7. Datta, Sudip & Iskandar-Datta, Mai & Singh, Vivek, 2013. "Product market power, industry structure, and corporate earnings management," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3273-3285.
  8. Bushman, Robert M. & Smith, Abbie J., 2001. "Financial accounting information and corporate governance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-3), pages 237-333, December.

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