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Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources

  • Stein, Jeremy C

This article examines the role of corporate headquarters in allocating scare resources to competing projects in an internal capital market. Unlike a bank, headquarters has control rights that enable it to engage in 'winner-picking'--the practice of actively shifting funds from one project to another. By doing a good job in the winner-picking dimension, headquarters can create value even when it cannot help at all to relax overall firmwide credit constraints. The model implies that internal capital markets may sometimes function more efficiently when headquarters oversees a small and focused set of projects. Copyright 1997 by American Finance Association.

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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 52 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 111-33

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:52:y:1997:i:1:p:111-33
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  1. Jensen, Michael C, 1993. " The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(3), pages 831-80, July.
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  3. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
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  7. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Diversification's effect on firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 39-65, January.
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  10. Stewart C. Myers, 1993. "Still Searching For Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 6(1), pages 4-14.
  11. Ben S. Bernanke & Cara S. Lown, 1991. "The Credit Crunch," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 205-248.
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  13. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-79, June.
  14. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1990. " Do Managerial Objectives Drive Bad Acquisitions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 31-48, March.
  15. Gertner, Robert H & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1994. "Internal versus External Capital Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1211-30, November.
  16. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  17. Comment, Robert & Jarrell, Gregg A., 1995. "Corporate focus and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 67-87, January.
  18. Andrei Shleifer, 1985. "A Theory of Yardstick Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 319-327, Autumn.
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