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Excessive continuation and dynamic agency costs of debt

  • Decamps, Jean-Paul
  • Faure-Grimaud, Antoine

This paper analyses the incentives of the equityholders of a leveraged company to shut it down in a continuous time, stochastic environment. Keeping the firm as an ongoing concern has an option value but equity and debt holders value it differently. Equityholders decisions exhibit excessive continuation and reduce firms value. Using a compound exchange option approach, we characterise the resulting agency costs of debt, derive the ¶price¶ of these costs and analyse their dynamics. We also show how agency costs can be reduced by the design of debt and the possibility of renegotiation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 46 (2002)
Issue (Month): 9 (October)
Pages: 1623-1644

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:46:y:2002:i:9:p:1623-1644
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Leland, Hayne E & Toft, Klaus Bjerre, 1996. " Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 987-1019, July.
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  10. Carr, Peter P, 1988. " The Valuation of Sequential Exchange Opportunities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1235-56, December.
  11. David De Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options And The Property Rights Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386, May.
  12. Mella-Barral, Pierre, 1999. "The Dynamics of Default and Debt Reorganization," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(3), pages 535-78.
  13. Mella-Barral, Pierre & Perraudin, William, 1997. " Strategic Debt Service," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 531-56, June.
  14. Anderson, Ronald W & Sundaresan, Suresh, 1996. "Design and Valuation of Debt Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 37-68.
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