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Agency Costs, Firm Behaviour and the Nature of Competition

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  • Aghion, Philippe
  • Dewatripont, Mathias
  • Rey, Patrick

Abstract

This paper develops an agency model in which firms can influence their own incentives to provide a non-contractible effort by contracting on other variables (e.g. by committing themselves to some verifiable investment). In such a model the firms' need for outside finance is shown to interact with their product market behavior in a non-monotonic way; for low levels of outside finance a rise in the need for outside finance reduces the manager's incentive to provide effort; but for high initial levels of outside finance a rise in the need for outside finance requires a commitment to higher effort which in turn is achieved through the contractible investment variables. This non-monotonicity has major implications for firm behavior, both when responding to demand shocks or when reacting to a change in the competitive environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2130.

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Date of creation: Apr 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2130

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Keywords: Agency; Competition; Satisficing Behaviour;

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References

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  1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
  2. Povel, Paul & Raith, Michael, 2004. "Financial constraints and product market competition: ex ante vs. ex post incentives," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 917-949, September.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1999. "Competition, Financial Discipline and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2128, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Stephen Nickell, 1993. "Competition and Corporate Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0182, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 19772, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 1995. "Dynamic Count Data Models of Technological Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 333-44, March.
  8. Schmidt, Klaus M, 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 191-213, April.
  9. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  10. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  11. N Dryden & Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1996. "What Makes Firms Perform Well?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0308, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1999. "Competition, Financial Discipline and Growth," Scholarly Articles 12490416, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Benjamin E. Hermalin, 1992. "The Effects of Competition on Executive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(3), pages 350-365, Autumn.
  14. Chevalier, Judith A, 1995. "Capital Structure and Product-Market Competition: Empirical Evidence from the Supermarket Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 415-35, June.
  15. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  16. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  17. 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. Marco Da Rin & Thomas Hellmann, . "Banks as Catalysts for Industrialization," Working Papers 103, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Giacinta Cestone & Lucy White, . "Anti-Competitive Financial Contracting: The Design Of Financial Claims," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 453.00, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Nicolas Boccard, 2001. "Financing Start-ups: Advising vs. Competing," CSEF Working Papers 64, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Giacinta Cestone, 1999. "Corporate Financing and Product Market Competition: An Overview," CSEF Working Papers 18, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  5. Giacinta Cestone & Chiara Fumagalli, 2003. "Winner-Picking or Cross-Subsidization? The Strategic Impact of Resource Flexibility in Business Groups," CSEF Working Papers 93, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  6. Erkki Koskela & Rune Stenbacka, 2000. "Agency Cost of Debt and Lending Market Competition: Is there a Relationship?," CESifo Working Paper Series 274, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Cestone, Giacinta & Fumagalli, Chiara, 2001. "Internal Capital Markets, Cross-Subsidization and Product Market Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2935, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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