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Agency costs in the process of development

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

Abstract

We analyze an economy where production is subject to moral hazard. The degree of the incentive (agency) costs introduced by the presence of moral hazard naturally depends on the information structure in the economy; it is cheaper to induce correct incentives in a society which posesses better ex post information. The degree of ex post information depends on the number of projects and entrepreneurs in the economy; the more projects, the better the information. This implies that at the early stages of development, the range of projects and the amount of information are limited and agency costs are high. Since the information created by a project is an externality on others, the decentralized economy is constrained inefficient; in particular, it does not `experiment' enough. The analysis of the role of information also opens the way to an investigation of the development of financial institutions. We contrast the information aggregation role of stock markets and information production role of banks. Because the amount of available information increases with development, our model predicts the pattern of financial development observed in practice; banks first and stock markets later.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 157.

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Date of creation: Feb 1996
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:157

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  1. Kyle, Albert S, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 317-55, July.
  2. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1076-1107, October.
  3. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  5. Greenwood, J. & Smith, B.D., 1995. "Financial Markets in Development, and the Development of Financial Markets," RCER Working Papers 406, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
  7. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  8. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  10. Poirier, Dale J., 1991. "Editor's introduction," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 1-4.
  11. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 709-51, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1999. "International Experiences with Different Monetary Policy Regimes," NBER Working Papers 6965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Taylor, John B., 1999. "The robustness and efficiency of monetary policy rules as guidelines for interest rate setting by the European central bank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 655-679, June.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Setting Standards: Information Accumulation in Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 1641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Nazmi, Nader, 2005. "Deregulation, financial deepening and economic growth: The case of Latin America," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 447-459, May.
  5. Lindbeck, A., 1998. "Swedish Lessons for Post-Socialist Countries," Papers 645, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Chengze Simon Fan & Herschel I. Grossman, 2001. "Incentives and corruption in chinese economic reform," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 195-206.
  7. Tressel, Thierry, 2003. " Dual Financial Systems and Inequalities in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 223-57, June.
  8. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz, 1999. "Development banking," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 83-100, February.

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