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A Theory of Financing Constraints and Firm Dynamics

  • Gian Luca Clementi
  • Hugo Hopenhayn

There is widespread evidence supporting the conjecture that borrowing constraints have important implications for firm growth and survival. In this paper we model a multi-period borrowing/lending relationship with asymmetric information. We show that borrowing constraints emerge as a feature of the optimal long-term lending contract, and that such constraints relax as the value of the borrower's claim to future cash-flows increases. We also show that the optimal contract has interesting implications for firm dynamics. In agreement with the empirical evidence, as age and size increase, mean and variance of growth decrease, firm survival increases, and the sensitivity of investment to cash-flows declines.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2002-E9.

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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1966279713
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Web page: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/

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  1. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "Pattenrs Of Firm Entry And Exit In U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 1-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
  3. Simon Gilchrist & Charles P. Himmelberg, 1995. "Evidence on the Role of Cash Flow for Investment," Working Papers 95-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 1992. "Communication, commitment, and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 74, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Gertler, Mark, 1990. "Financial Capacity And Output Fluctuations In An Economy With Multiperiod Financial Relationships," Working Papers 90-44, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Allan Timmermann, 2000. "Firm Size and Cyclical Variations in Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1229-1262, 06.
  7. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
  8. Thomas Cooley & Ramon Marimon & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2003. "Aggregate Consequences of Limited Contract Enforceability," NBER Working Papers 10132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521465618 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Hall, Bronwyn H, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 583-606, June.
  11. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-98, November.
  12. Troske, Kenneth R, 1996. "The Dynamic Adjustment Process of Firm Entry and Exit in Manufacturing and Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 705-35, October.
  13. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  14. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  15. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  16. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo Hopenhayn, 2002. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," RCER Working Papers 493, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. Audretsch, David B, 1991. "New-Firm Survival and the Technological Regime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 441-50, August.
  18. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman, 2007. "Optimal Long-Term Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2128, November.
  19. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  20. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  21. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521633574 is not listed on IDEAS
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