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A Dynamic Theory of Optimal Capital Structure and Executive Compensation

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  • Harold Cole
  • Andrew Atkeson

Abstract

In this paper, we put forward a theory of the optimal capital structure of the firm based on Jensen's (1986) hypothesis that a firm's choice of capital structure is determined by a trade-off between agency costs and monitoring costs. The problem of determining the optimal capital structure of the firm as well as the optimal compensation of the manager is then a problem of choosing payments to outside investors and the manager at each stage of production to balance these two frictions. Our theory has the following implications regarding optimal capital structure and executive compensation. Each period, the payouts from the firm can be divided into payments to the manager that consist of a non-contingent base pay and a performance component of pay based on the realized output of the firm, and two distinct payments to the outside investors that resemble payments debt and outside equity respectively. In our model, the dynamics of the capital structure come from the dynamics of compensation

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 267.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:267

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Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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Keywords: outside debt and equity; base pay; performance bonus; golden parachutte;

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References

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  1. Gian Luca Clementi & Hugo Hopenhayn, 2002. "A Theory of Financing Constraints and Firm Dynamics," RCER Working Papers 492, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Dewatripont, Mathias & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-54, November.
  3. Cooley, Thomas F & Marimon, Ramon & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2004. "Aggregate Consequences of Limited Contract Enforceability," CEPR Discussion Papers 4173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Andrew Atkeson, 2010. "International lending with moral hazard and risk of repudiation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 200, David K. Levine.
  6. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2004. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 285-315, 04.
  7. Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Dynamic Capital Structure under Managerial Entrenchment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1197-1215, December.
  8. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1995. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," NBER Working Papers 4886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Kehoe, Timothy J & Levine, David K, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 865-88, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  13. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman, 2007. "Optimal Long-Term Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2128, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Harold L. Cole, 2008. "Self-Enforcing Stochastic Monitoring and the Separation of Debt and Equity Claims," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Karl Walentin & Guido Lorenzoni & Dan Cao, 2013. "Financial Frictions, Investment and Tobin’s q," 2013 Meeting Papers 634, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Lustig, Hanno & Syverson, Chad & Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2011. "Technological change and the growing inequality in managerial compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 601-627, March.
  4. Mele, Antonio, 2014. "Repeated moral hazard and recursive Lagrangeans," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 69-85.
  5. Popescu Luigi & Visinescu Sorin, 2009. "A Review Of The Capital Structure Theories," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 3(1), pages 315-320, May.
  6. Visinescu, Sorin & Micuda, Dan, 2009. "Some aspects regarding the financial structure theories," MPRA Paper 30412, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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