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Empire-Builders and Shirkers: Investment, Firm Performance, and Managerial Incentives

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  • Rajesh K. Aggarwal
  • Andrew A. Samwick

Abstract

Do firms systematically over- or underinvest as a result of agency problems? We develop a contracting model between shareholders and managers in which managers have private benefits or private costs of investment. Managers overinvest when they have private benefits and underinvest when they have private costs. Optimal incentive contracts mitigate the over- or underinvestment problem. We derive comparative static predictions for the equilibrium relationships between incentives from compensation, investment, and firm performance for both cases. The relationship between firm performance and managerial incentives, in isolation, is insufficient to identify whether managers have private benefits or private costs of investment. In order to identify whether managers have private benefits or costs, we estimate the joint relationships between incentives and firm performance and between incentives and investment. Our empirical results show that both firm performance and investment are increasing in managerial incentives. These results are consistent with managers having private costs of investment. We find no support for overinvestment based on private benefits.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7335.

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Date of creation: Sep 1999
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Publication status: published as Journal of Corporate Finance, Vol. 12, no. 3 (June 2006): 489-515
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7335

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Cited by:
  1. Chirinko, Robert & Garretsen, Harry & Sterken, Elmer, 2003. "Corporate control mechanisms, voting and cash flow rights, and the performance of Dutch firms," CCSO Working Papers 200309, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  2. Antoine Renucci, 2008. "Access to financing, rents, and organization of the firm," Post-Print halshs-00365983, HAL.
  3. Lskavyan, Vahe & Spatareanu, Mariana, 2011. "Shareholder protection, ownership concentration and FDI," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 69-85, January.
  4. Renucci, Antoine, 2008. "Access to financing, rents, and organization of the firm," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 337-346, September.
  5. Lai, Jung-Ho & Chen, Li-Yu & Chang, Shao-Chi, 2012. "The board mechanism and entry mode choice," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 379-392.
  6. Fumagalli, Elena & Garrone, Paola & Grilli, Luca, 2007. "Service quality in the electricity industry: The role of privatization and managerial behavior," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6212-6224, December.
  7. Florackis, Chrisostomos & Kostakis, Alexandros & Ozkan, Aydin, 2009. "Managerial ownership and performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 1350-1357, December.
  8. Hung, Mao-Wei & Liu, Yu-Jane & Tsai, Chia-Fen, 2012. "Managerial personal diversification and portfolio equity incentives," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 38-64.
  9. Wu, Xueping & Wang, Zheng, 2005. "Equity financing in a Myers-Majluf framework with private benefits of control," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 915-945, October.
  10. Kini, Omesh & Williams, Ryan, 2012. "Tournament incentives, firm risk, and corporate policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 350-376.

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