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Agency and the Pace of Adoption of New Techniques

  • Ronald W. ANDERSON

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

  • Kjell G. NYBORG

    (London Business School and CEPR)

We study the relation of financial contracting and the pace of technological advance in a dynamic agency theoretic model. A firm which is financed by outside shareholders but run by managers has the prospect of a process innovation which arrives stochastically. Adopting the innovation requires firing old management and hiring new with skills appropriate for the new technique. We show that subgame perfect equilibria in this game can be of two types. In "entrenchment" equilibrium once the new technique has been announced old style management raises their dividend payout sufficiently to preempt the innovation. In "maximum rent extraction" equilibrium' managers are unable or unwilling to match the impending productivity improvement and instead respond by increasing their perquisites for the remaining time of their tenure. We show that both equilibria involve several types of inefficiencies and can resuit in underinvestment in positive NPV projects. We discuss the role of financial innovation in reducing the inefficiencies identified.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2002027.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2002027
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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bart Hobijn & Boyan Jovanovic, 2000. "The Information Technology Revolution and the Stock Market: Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1996. "Financial Dependence and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ron Anderson & Kjell G. Nyborg, 2001. "Financing and Corporate Growth under Repeated Moral Hazard," FMG Discussion Papers dp376, Financial Markets Group.
  6. Abhijit Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1989. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Discussion Papers 877, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Kjell G. Nyborg & Ron Anderson, 2001. "Financial Development, Agency and the Pace of Adoption of New Techniques," FMG Discussion Papers dp389, Financial Markets Group.
  8. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "Distribution and growth in models of imperfect capital markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 603-611, April.
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