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Agency and the Pace of Adoption of New Techniques

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  • Ronald W. ANDERSON

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

  • Kjell G. NYBORG

    (London Business School and CEPR)

Abstract

We study the relation of financial contracting and the pace of technological advance in a dynamic agency theoretic model. A firm which is financed by outside shareholders but run by managers has the prospect of a process innovation which arrives stochastically. Adopting the innovation requires firing old management and hiring new with skills appropriate for the new technique. We show that subgame perfect equilibria in this game can be of two types. In "entrenchment" equilibrium once the new technique has been announced old style management raises their dividend payout sufficiently to preempt the innovation. In "maximum rent extraction" equilibrium' managers are unable or unwilling to match the impending productivity improvement and instead respond by increasing their perquisites for the remaining time of their tenure. We show that both equilibria involve several types of inefficiencies and can resuit in underinvestment in positive NPV projects. We discuss the role of financial innovation in reducing the inefficiencies identified.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2002027.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2002027

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Keywords: Contract; Corporate finance; Innovation; Governance;

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  1. Anderson, Ronald W & Nyborg, Kjell G, 2001. "Financing and Corporate Growth under Repeated Moral Hazard," CEPR Discussion Papers 2920, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  3. Greenwood, J. & Jovanovic, B., 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9002, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
  4. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1991. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 211-35, April.
  5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "Distribution and growth in models of imperfect capital markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 603-611, April.
  7. Ronald W. Anderson & Kjell G. Nyborg, 2001. "Financial development, agency and the pace of adoption of new techniques," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25065, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Bart Hobijn & Boyan Jovanovic, 2000. "The Information Technology Revolution and the Stock Market: Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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