Financial Contracting with Optimistic Entrepreneurs
AbstractOptimistic beliefs are a source of nonpecuniary benefits for entrepreneurs that can explain the "Private Equity Puzzle." This paper looks at the effects of entrepreneurial optimism on financial contracting. When the contract space is restricted to debt, we show the existence of a separating equilibrium in which optimists self-select into short-term debt and realists into long-term debt. Long-term debt is optimal for a realist entrepreneur as it smooths payoffs across states of nature. Short-term debt is optimal for optimists for two reasons: (i) "bridging the gap in beliefs" by letting the entrepreneur take a bet on his project's success, and (ii) letting the investor impose adaptation decisions in bad states.We test our theory on a large data set of French entrepreneurs. First, in agreement with the psychology literature, we find that biases in beliefs may be (partly) explained by individual characteristics and tend to persist over time. Second, as predicted by our model, we find that short-term debt is robustly correlated with "optimistic" expectation errors, even controlling for firm risk and other potential determinants of short-term leverage. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com, Oxford University Press.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.
Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Journals Department, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513 USA.
Web page: http://www.rfs.oupjournals.org/
More information through EDIRC
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.