A Theory of Firm Decline
AbstractWe study the problem of an investor that buys an equity stake in an entrepreneurial venture, under the assumption that the former cannot monitor the latter’s operations. The dynamics implied by the optimal incentive scheme is rich andquite different from that induced by other models of repeated moral hazard. In particular, our framework generates a rationale for firm decline. As young firms accumulate capital, the claims of both investor (outside equity) and entrepreneur (inside equity) increase. At some juncture, however, even as the latter keeps on growing, capital and firm value start declining and so does the value of outside equity. The reason is that incentive provision becomes costlier as inside equity grows. In turn, this leads to a decline in the constrained–efficient level of effort and therefore to a drop in the return to investment. In the long run, the entrepreneur gains control of all cash–flow rights and the capital stock converges to a constant value.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 33-08.
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision: Jan 2008
Principal–Agent; Moral Hazard; Hidden Action; Incentives; Firm Dynamics.;
Other versions of this item:
- Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas F. Cooley & Sonia DiGiannatale, 2009. "A Theory of Firm Decline," Working Papers 09-05, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas F. Cooley & Sonia Di Giannatale, 2009. "A Theory of Firm Decline," NBER Working Papers 15192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas Cooley & Sonia Di Giannatal, 2010. "A Theory of Firm Decline," Working Papers 2010.88, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Sonia Di Giannatale Menegalli & Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas Cooley, 2008. "A Theory of Firm Decline," Working papers DTE 445, CIDE, División de Economía.
- Gian Luca Clementi & Thomas F. Cooley & Sonia B. Di Giannatale, 2010. "A Theory of Firm Decline," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000149, David K. Levine.
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
- D92 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2009-01-24 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CTA-2009-01-24 (Contract Theory & Applications)
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