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Agency Costs in the Process of Development

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  • Acemoglu, Daron
  • Zilibotti, Fabrizio

Abstract

We analyse an economy where production is subject to moral hazard. The degree of the incentive (agency) costs introduced by the presence of moral hazard naturally depends on the information structure in the economy; it is cheaper to induce correct incentives in a society which possesses better ex-post information. The degree of ex-post information depends on the number of projects and entrepreneurs in the economy; the more projects, the better the information. This implies that in the early stages of development, the range of projects and the amount of information are limited and agency costs are high. Since the information created by a project is an externality on others, the decentralized economy is constrained inefficient; in particular, it does not ‘experiment’ enough. The analysis of the role of information also opens the way to an investigation of the development of financial institutions. We contrast the information aggregation role of stock markets and information production role of banks. Because the amount of available information increases with development, our model predicts the pattern of financial development observed in practice; banks first and stock markets later.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1421.

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Date of creation: Jun 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1421

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Keywords: Agency Costs; Development; Financial Institutions; Information; Social Experimentation;

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References

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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Financial markets in development, and the development of financial markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 145-181, January.
  2. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  3. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  5. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  7. Poirier, Dale J., 1991. "Editor's introduction," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 1-4.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1994. "Was Prometheus unbound by chance? Risk, diversification and growth," Economics Working Papers 98, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  10. Kyle, Albert S, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 317-55, July.
  11. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2000. "International Experiences with Different Monetary Policy Regimes," NBER Working Papers 7044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Acemoglu, D. & Zilibotti, F., 1997. "Setting Standards: Information Accumulation in Development," Working papers 97-6, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Lindbeck, A., 1998. "Swedish Lessons for Post-Socialist Countries," Papers 645, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Nazmi, Nader, 2005. "Deregulation, financial deepening and economic growth: The case of Latin America," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 447-459, May.
  5. Taylor, John B., 1998. "The Robustness and Efficiency of Monetary Policy Rules as Guidelines for Interest Rate Setting by the European Central Bank," Seminar Papers 649, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  6. Chengze Simon Fan & Herschel I. Grossman, 2001. "Incentives and corruption in chinese economic reform," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 195-206.
  7. Tressel, Thierry, 2003. " Dual Financial Systems and Inequalities in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 223-57, June.
  8. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz, 1999. "Development banking," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 83-100, February.

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