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What do internal capital markets do ? Redistribution vs. incentives

  • Axel GAUTIER

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

  • Florian HEIDER

    (FMG-LSE (U.K.), UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS))

In this paper we explain the apparent "diversification discount” of conglomerates without assuming inefficient-cross subsidisation through internal capital markets. Instead we assume that internal capital market efficiently redistributes scare resources across a conglomerate’s divisions between sucessive production periods. The need for redistribution arises from the fact that resources may sometimes be produced by divisions which happen to be successful in an earlier production stage but which do not have the best investment opportunities in future production stages. In contrast to the existing literature we consider explicitly the incentive problem between corporate headquater and divisional managers using a standard Moral-Hazard framework. We show that although a complete incentive contract can be written bi-laterally between headquarter and divisional managers, the redistribution of resources across divisions creates additional agency costs in a conglomerate. Moreover, assuming that no complete contract can govern the interim redistribution policy by the headquarter, we show how the agency problem with divisional managers constrains headquarters interim redistribution to be ex ante inefficient.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2001015.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2001015
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  1. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," NBER Working Papers 6368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  3. Milton Harris & Artur Raviv, 1997. "Capital Budgeting and Delegation," CRSP working papers 452, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  4. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1989. "Default And Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model Of Debt," Working papers 520, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Sandro Brusco & Fausto Panunzi, 2002. "Reallocation of Corporate Resources and Managerial Incentives in Internal Capital Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 735, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Hyun-Han Shin & René M. Stulz, 1998. "Are Internal Capital Markets Efficient?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 531-552, May.
  7. Stein, Jeremy C, 1997. " Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 111-33, March.
  8. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2537-2564, December.
  9. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
  10. Robert H. Gertner & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Internal versus External Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 4776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lamont, Owen, 1997. " Cash Flow and Investment: Evidence from Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 83-109, March.
  12. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  13. David S. Scharfstein, 1998. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets II: Evidence from Diversified Conglomerates," NBER Working Papers 6352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Meyer, Margaret A & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, Donald John, 1992. "Organizational Prospects, Influence Costs, and Ownership Changes," CEPR Discussion Papers 665, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Diversification's effect on firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 39-65, January.
  16. Comment, Robert & Jarrell, Gregg A., 1995. "Corporate focus and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 67-87, January.
  17. Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized vs. Hierarchical Firms," NBER Working Papers 7705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Gordon M Phillips & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1999. "Do Conglomerate Firms Allocate Resources Inefficiently?," Working Papers 99-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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