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Dynamic Agency and the q Theory of Investment

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  • PETER M. DEMARZO
  • MICHAEL J. FISHMAN
  • ZHIGUO HE
  • NENG WANG

Abstract

been profitable, agency concerns are less severe, and the firm is growing rapidly. To study the effect of serial correlation of productivity shocks on investment and firm dynamics, we extend our model to allow the firm’s output price to be stochastic. We show that, in contrast to static agency models, the agent’s compensation in the optimal dynamic contract will depend not only on the firm’s past performance, but also on output prices, even though they are beyond the agent’s control. This dependence of the agent’s compensation on exogenous output prices (for incentive reasons) further feeds back on the firm’s investment, and provides a channel to amplify and propagate the response of investment to output price shocks via dynamic agency.
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Suggested Citation

  • Peter M. Demarzo & Michael J. Fishman & Zhiguo He & Neng Wang, 2012. "Dynamic Agency and the q Theory of Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(6), pages 2295-2340, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:67:y:2012:i:6:p:2295-2340
    DOI: j.1540-6261.2012.01787.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1540-6261.2012.01787.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Russell Cooper & Joao Ejarque, 2003. "Financial Frictions and Investment: Requiem in Q," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 710-728, October.
    2. Christopher Phelan & Robert M. Townsend, 1991. "Computing Multi-Period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 853-881.
    3. Thomas Philippon & Yuliy Sannikov, 2007. "Real Options in a Dynamic Agency Model, with Applications to Financial Development, IPOs, and Business Risk," NBER Working Papers 13584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
    5. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    6. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-879.
    7. Joao F. Gomes, 2001. "Financing Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1263-1285, December.
    8. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-1089, July.
    9. Steven N. Kaplan & Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215.
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