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Marketable Incentive Contracts and Capital Structure Relevance


  • Garvey, Gerald T


This article investigates the claim that debt finance can increase firm value by curtailing managers' access to 'free cash flow.' The author first shows that incentive contracts that tie the managers' pay to stockholder wealth are often a superior solution to the free cash flow problem. He then considers the possibility that the manager can trade on secondary capital markets. Liquid secondary markets are shown to undermine management incentive schemes and, in many cases, to restore the value of debt finance in controlling the free cash flow problem. Copyright 1997 by American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Garvey, Gerald T, 1997. " Marketable Incentive Contracts and Capital Structure Relevance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 353-378, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:52:y:1997:i:1:p:353-78

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi & Adriano A. Rampini, 2008. "Managerial Hedging and Portfolio Monitoring," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 158-209, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Gao, Huasheng, 2010. "Optimal compensation contracts when managers can hedge," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 218-238, August.
    4. Lin, Tse-chun & Liu, Qi & Sun, Bo, 2015. "Contracting with Feedback," International Finance Discussion Papers 1143, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Darius Palia & S. Ravid & Chia-Jane Wang, 2008. "Founders versus non-founders in large companies: financial incentives and the call for regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 55-86, February.
    6. Gerald T. Garvey & Todd T. Milbourn, 2001. "Market-Indexed Executive Compensation: Strictly for the Young," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-19, Claremont Colleges.
    7. Lewellen, Katharina, 2004. "Financing Decisions When Managers Are Risk Averse," Working papers 4438-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    8. Lewellen, Katharina, 2006. "Financing decisions when managers are risk averse," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 551-589, December.
    9. Armstrong, Christopher S. & Vashishtha, Rahul, 2012. "Executive stock options, differential risk-taking incentives, and firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 70-88.
    10. Bizer, David S. & DeMarzo, Peter M., 1999. "Optimal Incentive Contracts When Agents Can Save, Borrow, and Default," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 241-269, October.
    11. Gerald T. Garvey & Todd T. Milbourn, 2003. "Asymmetric Benchmarking in Compensation: Executives are Paid for (Good) Luck But Not Punished for Bad," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2003-01, Claremont Colleges.

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