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Agency Costs in the Process of Development

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  • Acemoglu, Daron
  • Zilibotti, Fabrizio

Abstract

We analyse an economy where production is subject to moral hazard. The degree of the incentive (agency) costs introduced by the presence of moral hazard naturally depends on the information structure in the economy; it is cheaper to induce correct incentives in a society which possesses better ex-post information. The degree of ex-post information depends on the number of projects and entrepreneurs in the economy; the more projects, the better the information. This implies that in the early stages of development, the range of projects and the amount of information are limited and agency costs are high. Since the information created by a project is an externality on others, the decentralized economy is constrained inefficient; in particular, it does not ‘experiment’ enough. The analysis of the role of information also opens the way to an investigation of the development of financial institutions. We contrast the information aggregation role of stock markets and information production role of banks. Because the amount of available information increases with development, our model predicts the pattern of financial development observed in practice; banks first and stock markets later.

Suggested Citation

  • Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1996. "Agency Costs in the Process of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 1421, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1421
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nazmi, Nader, 2005. "Deregulation, financial deepening and economic growth: The case of Latin America," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 447-459, May.
    2. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1998. "International Experiences With Different Monetary Policy Regimes," Seminar Papers 648, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    3. Lindbeck, A., 1998. "Swedish Lessons for Post-Socialist Countries," Papers 645, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    4. Tressel, Thierry, 2003. "Dual Financial Systems and Inequalities in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 223-257, June.
    5. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Setting Standards: Information Accumulation in Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 1641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Taylor, John B., 1999. "The robustness and efficiency of monetary policy rules as guidelines for interest rate setting by the European central bank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 655-679, June.
    7. de Aghion, Beatriz Armendariz, 1999. "Development banking," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 83-100, February.
    8. Chengze Simon Fan & Herschel I. Grossman, 2001. "Incentives and corruption in chinese economic reform," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 195-206.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agency Costs; Development; Financial Institutions; Information; Social Experimentation;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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