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A reconsideration of the Jensen-Meckling model of outside finance

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  • Hellwig, Martin F.

Abstract

The paper studies outside finance in a model of two-dimensional moral hazard, involving risk choices as well as effort choices. If the entrepreneur has insufficient funds, a first-best outcome cannot be implemented. Second-best outcomes involve greater failure risk than first-best outcomes. For a Cobb-Douglas technology, second-best effort and investment levels are smaller than first-best; for other technologies, the comparison depends on the elasticity of substitution. If firm returns are not too noisy as signals of behaviour, the optimal incentive scheme corresponds to some mix of debt and equity finance. If firm returns are too noisy, this interpretation is not available.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Intermediation.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 495-525

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:18:y:2009:i:4:p:495-525

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622875

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Keywords: Financial contracting Debt finance Equity finance Moral hazard Risk choices;

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References

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  1. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, December.
  2. Dionne, G. & Viala, P., 1992. "Optimal Design of Financial Contracts and Moral Hazard," Cahiers de recherche 9219, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1989. "The financial structure of the firm and the problem of control," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2-3), pages 286-293, March.
  5. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  6. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  7. Caillaud, Bernard & Guesnerie, Roger & Rey, Patrick, 1989. "Noisy observation in adverse selection models," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8921, CEPREMAP.
  8. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  9. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
  10. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  11. Bester,Helmut Hellwig,Martin, 1987. "Moral hazard and equilibrium credit rationing: An overview of the issues," Discussion Paper Serie A 125, University of Bonn, Germany.
  12. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  13. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817, Octomber.
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Cited by:
  1. Alexei Tchistyi, 2012. "Risking Other People's Money: Gambling, Limited Liability, and Optimal Incentives," 2012 Meeting Papers 1091, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Sundaram, Rangarajan K. & Yermack, David, 2006. "Pay Me Later: Inside Debt and Its Role in Managerial Compensation," SIFR Research Report Series 43, Institute for Financial Research.

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