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Capital Structure and Risk Management


  • Karine Gobert


This paper examines the impact of capital structure on the optimality of contingent financial contracts. The role of financial relationships is not only to provide funds but also to offer insurance to a risk adverse entrepreneur through contingent financial transfers. Since such financial relationships are long term, the question is on the depth of the financier's commitment to continue to offer financing in the future. If such a commitment cannot be obtained, insurance cannot be perfect. In that case, the entrepreneur chooses to complement outside insurance with internal financing. Depending on the financier's property rights on the firm's assets, the use of reserves can relax the financing constraints and considerably improve not only the level of insurance obtained through the contract but also the efficiency of investment decisions. This rationalizes the use of convertible debt in venture capital relationships. Cet article présente les impacts de la structure de capital sur l'optimalité des contrats financiers contingents. Le rôle des relations financières est non seulement de fournir des capitaux0501s aussi d'offrir de l'assurance à un entrepreneur riscophobe par des transferts contingents. Comme ces relations sont de longue durée, si le financier ne peut s'engager à toujours offrir du financement dans le futur, l'assurance ne peut pas être parfaite. Dans ce cas, l'entrepreneur choisit de complémenter l'assurance externe par du financement interne. Si le financier n'a pas tous les droits de propriété sur les réserves de la firme, l'utilisation des réserves internes peut relâcher les contraintes de refinancement externe et améliorer considérablement le niveau d'assurance ainsi que l'efficacité des décisions d'investissement. Ce résultat justifie l'usage de dette convertible dans les relations de capital risque.

Suggested Citation

  • Karine Gobert, 2001. "Capital Structure and Risk Management," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-51, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2001s-51

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2000. "Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(2), pages 216-246, April.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 473-494.
    3. Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-387, May.
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    5. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    6. Gauthier, Celine & Poitevin, Michel & Gonzalez, Patrick, 1997. "Ex Ante Payments in Self-Enforcing Risk-Sharing Contracts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 106-144, September.
    7. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    8. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-1054.
    9. Karine Gobert & Michel Poitevin, 2006. "Non-commitment and savings in dynamic risk-sharing contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(2), pages 357-372, June.
    10. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-592, July.
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    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo N. Bebczuk, 2005. "Corporate Governance and Ownership: Measurement and Impact on Corporate Performance and Dividend Policies in Argentina," Research Department Publications 3212, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.


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