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The Modigliani-Miller theorems: a cornerstone of finance

  • Marco Pagano

    ()

    (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Dipartimento di Teoria e Storia dell'Economia Pubblica, Napoli (Italy))

The Modigliani-Miller (MM) theorems are a cornerstone of finance for two reasons. The first is substantive and it stems from their nature of "irrelevance propositions": by providing a crystal-clear benchmark case where capital structure and dividend policy do not affect firm value, by implication these propositions help us understand when these decisions may affect the value of firms, and why. Indeed, the entire subsequent development of corporate finance can be described essentially as exploring the consequences of relaxing the MM assumptions. The second reason for the seminal importance of MM is methodological, by relying on an arbitrage argument, they set a precedent not only within the realm of corporate finance but also (and even more importantly) within that of asset pricing.

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File URL: http://ojs.uniroma1.it/index.php/PSLQuarterlyReview/article/view/9856/9738
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Article provided by Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in its journal Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review.

Volume (Year): 58 (2005)
Issue (Month): 233-234 ()
Pages: 237-247

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Handle: RePEc:psl:bnlqrr:2005:213
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  1. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Miller, Merton H, 1988. "The Modigliani-Miller Propositions after Thirty Years," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 99-120, Fall.
  3. Barnett, William A. & Solow, Robert, 2000. "An Interview With Franco Modigliani," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 222-256, June.
  4. Klaus M. Schmidt, 2003. "Convertible Securities and Venture Capital Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1139-1166, 06.
  5. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "On the Irrelevance of Corporate Financial Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 851-66, December.
  6. Kaplan, Steven & Strömberg, Per Johan, 2000. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets The Real World: An Empirical Analysis Of Venture Capital Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 2421, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  8. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
  9. Francesca Cornelli & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Securities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 1-32.
  10. Modigliani, Franco, 1988. "MM--Past, Present, Future," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 149-58, Fall.
  11. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  12. repec:cup:macdyn:v:4:y:2000:i:2:p:222-56 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Hayne E. Leland and David H. Pyle., 1976. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Research Program in Finance Working Papers 41, University of California at Berkeley.
  14. Francesca Cornelli & Oved Yosha, 2003. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Securities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 1-32, January.
  15. Ross, Stephen A, 1988. "Comment on the Modigliani-Miller Propositions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 127-33, Fall.
  16. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  17. Sudipto Bhattacharya, 1979. "Imperfect Information, Dividend Policy, and "The Bird in the Hand" Fallacy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 259-270, Spring.
  18. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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