Managerial Value Diversion and Shareholder Wealth
AbstractThe agents to whom shareholders delegate the management of corporate affairs may transfer value from shareholders to themselves through a variety of mechanisms, such as self-dealing, insider trading, and taking of corporate opportunities. A common view in the law and economics literature is that such value diversion does not ultimately produce a reduction in shareholder wealth, since value diversion simply substitutes for alternative forms of compensation that would otherwise be paid to managers. We question this view within its own analytical framework by studying, in a principal-agent model, the effects of allowing value diversion on managerial compensation and effort. We suggest that the standard law and economics view of value diversion overlooks a significant cost of such behavior. Many common modes of compensation can provide managers with incentives to enhance shareholder value; replacing such compensation would reduce these incentives. As a result, even if the consequences of a rule permitting value diversion can be fully taken into account in settling managerial compensation, such a rule might still produce a reduction in shareholder wealth -- and would not do so only if value diversion would have some countervailing positive effects (a possibility which our model considers) that are sufficiently significant in size.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6919.
Date of creation: Apr 2000
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
- G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-02-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-CFN-1999-02-15 (Corporate Finance)
- NEP-MIC-1999-02-15 (Microeconomics)
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