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Moral Hazard and Capital Structure Dynamics

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  • Dewatripont, Mathias
  • Legros, Patrick
  • Matthews, Steven A

Abstract

We base a contracting theory for a start-up firm on an agency model with observable but nonverifiable effort, and renegotiable contracts. Two essential restrictions on simple contracts are imposed: the entrepreneur must be given limited liability, and the investor's earnings must not decrease in the realized profit of the firm. All message game contracts with pure strategy equilibria (and no third parties) are considered. Within this class of contracts/equilibria, and regardless of who has the renegotiating bargaining power, debt and convertible debt maximize the entrepreneur's incentives to exert effort. These contracts are optimal if the entrepreneur has the bargaining power in renegotiation. If the investor has the bargaining power, the same is true unless debt induces excessive effort. In the latter case, a non-debt simple contract achieves efficiency -- the non-contractibility of effort does not lower welfare. Thus, when the non-contractibility of effort matters, our results mirror typical capital structure dynamics: an early use of debt claims, followed by a switch to equity-like claims.

Suggested Citation

  • Dewatripont, Mathias & Legros, Patrick & Matthews, Steven A, 2002. "Moral Hazard and Capital Structure Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 3487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3487
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    1. Valérie Revest & Christophe Le Guehennec, 2007. "Capital risque, intervention publique et marché : le cas des biotechnologies françaises," Working Papers halshs-00200839, HAL.
    2. Frédéric Blanc-Brude, 2014. "Discussion of Finance and Public-Private Partnerships," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Alexandra Heath & Matthew Read (ed.), Financial Flows and Infrastructure Financing Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Ingo Fender & Janet Mitchell, 2009. "Incentives and tranche retention in securitisation: a screening model," BIS Working Papers 289, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Kim, Doyoung & Lawarree, Jacques & Shin, Dongsoo, 2004. "Exit option in hierarchical agency," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1265-1287, November.
    5. Ngo Van Long & Antoine Soubeyran & Raphael Soubeyran, 2014. "Knowledge Accumulation Within An Organization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 1089-1128, November.
    6. Ngo Van Long & Antoine Soubeyran & Raphael Soubeyran, 2014. "Knowledge acquisition within an organization: How to retain a knowledge worker using wage profile and non-monotonic knowledge accumulation," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-32, CIRANO.
    7. Jean-Étienne Palard, 2007. "Recentrage stratégique et politique de financement:le cas des firmes cotées en Europe (1987-2003)," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie, revues.org, vol. 10(3), pages 111-137, September.
    8. Winton, Andrew & Yerramilli, Vijay, 2008. "Entrepreneurial finance: Banks versus venture capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 51-79, April.
    9. R. Amit & Parthasarathy Ramachandran, 2010. "A Fair Contract for Managing Water Scarcity," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 24(6), pages 1195-1209, April.
    10. Susanne Ohlendorf & Patrick W. Schmitz, 2012. "Repeated Moral Hazard And Contracts With Memory: The Case Of Risk‐Neutrality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 433-452, May.
    11. Valérie Revest & Christophe Le Guehennec, 2007. "Capital risque, intervention publique et marché : le cas des biotechnologies françaises," CEPN Working Papers halshs-00200839, HAL.
    12. Jewitt, Ian & Kadan, Ohad & Swinkels, Jeroen M., 2008. "Moral hazard with bounded payments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 59-82, November.
    13. Ohlendorf, Susanne & Schmitz, Patrick W, 2008. "Repeated Moral Hazard, Limited Liability, and Renegotiation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Robin Boadway & Jean-François Tremblay, 2003. "Public Economics and Startup Entrepreneurs," CESifo Working Paper Series 877, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Robin Boadway & Oana Secrieru & Marianne Vigneault, 2005. "A Search Model of Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship, and Unemployment," Staff Working Papers 05-24, Bank of Canada.
    16. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223.
    17. Enrico Minelli & Salvatore Modica, 2009. "Credit Market Failures and Policy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(3), pages 363-382, June.
    18. Pierre Chaigneau, 2012. "On the Value of Improved Informativeness," Cahiers de recherche 1205, CIRPEE.
    19. Dewatripont, Mathias & Legros, Patrick, 2005. "Public-private partnerships: contract design and risk transfer," EIB Papers 5/2005, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    20. Kadan, Ohad & Swinkels, Jeroen M., 2013. "Minimum payments and induced effort in moral hazard problems," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 468-489.
    21. Berlinger, Edina & Juhász, Péter & Lovas, Anita, 2015. "Az állami támogatás hatása a projektfinanszírozásra erkölcsi kockázat és pozitív externáliák mellett. Szerződéselméleti megközelítés
      [The impact of state subsidy on project financing under moral ha
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    22. Dang, Viet Anh, 2010. "Optimal financial contracts with hidden effort, unobservable profits and endogenous costs of effort," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 75-89, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital structure; convertible debt; moral hazard; renegotiation;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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