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Excessive continuation and dynamic agency costs of debt

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  • Decamps, Jean-Paul
  • Faure-Grimaud, Antoine

Abstract

This paper analyses the incentives of the equityholders of a leveraged company to shut it down in a continuous time, stochastic environment. Keeping the firm as an ongoing concern has an option value but equity and debt holders value it differently. Equity holders' decisions exhibit excessive continuation and reduce the firm's value. Using a compound exchange option approach, we characterize the resulting agency costs of debt, derive the ‘price’ of these costs and analyse their dynamics. We also show how agency costs can be reduced by the design of debt and the possibility of renegotiation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 46 (2002)
Issue (Month): 9 (October)
Pages: 1623-1644

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:46:y:2002:i:9:p:1623-1644

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  1. Carr, Peter P, 1988. " The Valuation of Sequential Exchange Opportunities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1235-56, December.
  2. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  3. Mella-Barral, Pierre & Perraudin, William, 1997. " Strategic Debt Service," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 531-56, June.
  4. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Mello, Antonio S & Parsons, John E, 1992. " Measuring the Agency Cost of Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1887-904, December.
  6. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Leland, Hayne E & Toft, Klaus Bjerre, 1996. " Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 987-1019, July.
  8. Anderson, Ronald W & Sundaresan, Suresh, 1996. "Design and Valuation of Debt Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 37-68.
  9. McDonald, Robert L & Siegel, Daniel R, 1985. "Investment and the Valuation of Firms When There Is an Option to Shut Down," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 331-49, June.
  10. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean-Paul DÊcamps, 1997. "A variational approach for pricing options and corporate bonds," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 557-569.
  11. David De Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options And The Property Rights Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386, May.
  12. Anderson, Ronald W. & Sundaresan, Suresh & Tychon, Pierre, 1996. "Strategic analysis of contingent claims," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 871-881, April.
  13. Geske, Robert, 1977. "The Valuation of Corporate Liabilities as Compound Options," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 541-552, November.
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  15. Mella-Barral, Pierre, 1999. "The Dynamics of Default and Debt Reorganization," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(3), pages 535-78.
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Cited by:
  1. Elettra Agliardi & Rainer Andergassen, 2007. "Last Resort Gambles, Risky Debt and Liquidation Policy," Working Paper Series 31-07, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jul 2007.
  2. Bart Lambrecht & Stewart C. Myers, 2005. "A Theory of Takeovers and Disinvestment," NBER Working Papers 11082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jean-Paul Décamps & Bertrand Djembissi, 2007. "Switching to a poor business activity: optimal capital structure, agency costs and covenant rules," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 389-409, July.
  4. Moyen, Nathalie, 2007. "How big is the debt overhang problem?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 433-472, February.
  5. Duffie, Darrell, 2003. "Intertemporal asset pricing theory," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 639-742 Elsevier.
  6. Alan Schwartz, . "A Normative Theory of Business Bankruptcy," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1037, American Law & Economics Association.

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