A Consistent Firm Objective When Markets are Incomplete: Profit Maximization
AbstractIn economies with private firm ownership, when markets are incomplete, and firm shareholders change over time, there is no broad agreement on what ought to be a firm's objective. It is shown that ex-post, profit maximization is consistent with shareholder preferences in such economies; that is, along the equilibrium path, in every period and state of the world, every coalition of a firm's shareholders in that period and state approves a profit-maximizing production plan. This result is shown using natural assumptions about shareholder preferences and shareholder control, and it applies to cases when shareholders within a firm and across firms can form coalitions, and when stock trading can be ex-dividend or cum-dividend, and with a combination of both. This result can help provide a foundation for formulating a theory of the firm when markets are incomplete; a theory based on primitives of shareholder preferences and shareholder control that are to be necessarily satisfied in economies with private firm ownership.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 141.
Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Incomplete Markets; Firm Objective; Profit Maximization; Shareholder Preferences;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
- D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
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- NEP-ALL-2004-10-30 (All new papers)
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