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Costly State Verification and Multiple Investors: The Role of Seniority

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  • Winton, Andrew

Abstract

Many financial claims specify fixed maximum payments, varying seniority, and absolute priority for more senior investors. These features are motivated in a model where a firm's manager contracts with several investors and firm output can only be verified privately at a cost. Debt-like contracts of varying seniority generally dominate symmetric contracts, and, when investors are risk neutral, it is optimal to use debt like contracts where more senior claims have absolute priority over more junior claims. In addition to motivating several features of debt and preferred stock, the model offers an explanation for structures used in leveraged buyouts, asset backed securitizations, and reinsurance contracts. Article published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies in its journal, The Review of Financial Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Winton, Andrew, 1995. "Costly State Verification and Multiple Investors: The Role of Seniority," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(1), pages 91-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:8:y:1995:i:1:p:91-123
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