IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Debt and managerial rents in a real-options model of the firm

  • Lambrecht, Bart M.
  • Myers, Stewart C.
Registered author(s):

    We present a theory of capital investment and debt and equity financing in a real-options model of a public corporation. The theory assumes that managers maximize the present value of their future compensation (managerial rents), subject to constraints imposed by outside shareholders' property rights to the firm's assets. Absent bankruptcy costs, managers follow an optimal debt policy that generates efficient investment and disinvestment. We show how bankruptcy costs can distort both investment and disinvestment. We also show how managers' personal wealth constraints can lead to delayed investment and increased reliance on debt financing. Changes in cash flow can cause changes in investment by tightening or loosening the wealth constraints. Firms with weaker investor protection adopt higher debt levels.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

    Volume (Year): 89 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 209-231

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:89:y:2008:i:2:p:209-231
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Bart M. Lambrecht & Stewart C. Myers, 2007. "A Theory of Takeovers and Disinvestment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 809-845, 04.
    2. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hayne E. Leland, 1998. "Agency Costs, Risk Management, and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1213-1243, 08.
    4. 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.
    5. Pierre Mella-Barral & William R M Perraudin, 1993. "Strategic Debt Service," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0039, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
    6. Ivo Welch, 2002. "Capital Structure and Stock Returns," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm263, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2003.
    7. Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2004. "Do Tests of Capital Structure Theory Mean What They Say?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 646, Econometric Society.
    8. Lambrecht, Bart M, 2001. "The Impact of Debt Financing on Entry and Exit in a Duopoly," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 765-804.
    9. Hovakimian, Armen & Opler, Tim & Titman, Sheridan, 2001. "The Debt-Equity Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 1-24, March.
    10. Mauer, David C. & Sarkar, Sudipto, 2005. "Real options, agency conflicts, and optimal capital structure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1405-1428, June.
    11. Flannery, Mark J. & Rangan, Kasturi P., 2006. "Partial adjustment toward target capital structures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 469-506, March.
    12. Baruch Lev, 2003. "Corporate Earnings: Facts and Fiction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 27-50, Spring.
    13. Childs, Paul D. & Mauer, David C. & Ott, Steven H., 2005. "Interactions of corporate financing and investment decisions: The effects of agency conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 667-690, June.
    14. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
    15. 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.
    16. Hayne E. Leland., 1994. "Corporate Debt Value, Bond Covenants, and Optimal Capital Structure," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-233, University of California at Berkeley.
    17. 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.
    18. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1999. "Investor Protection and Corporate Valuation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1882, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    19. Jin, Li & Myers, Stewart C., 2006. "R2 around the world: New theory and new tests," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 257-292, February.
    20. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    21. Morellec, Erwan, 2001. "Asset liquidity, capital structure, and secured debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 173-206, August.
    22. Fan, Hua & Sundaresan, Suresh M, 2000. "Debt Valuation, Renegotiation, and Optimal Dividend Policy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 1057-99.
    23. Erwan Morellec, 2004. "Can Managerial Discretion Explain Observed Leverage Ratios?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 257-294.
    24. Parrino, Robert & Weisbach, Michael S., 1999. "Measuring investment distortions arising from stockholder-bondholder conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-42, July.
    25. Stulz, ReneM., 1990. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-27, July.
    26. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
    27. Mello, Antonio S & Parsons, John E, 1992. " Measuring the Agency Cost of Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1887-904, December.
    28. Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Dynamic Capital Structure under Managerial Entrenchment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1197-1215, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:89:y:2008:i:2:p:209-231. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.