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Financial development, agency and the pace of adoption of new techniques


  • Anderson, Ronald W.
  • Nyborg, Kjell G.


We study the relation of financial development 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 techniques has been announced old style management raises their dividend payout sufficiently to pre-empt 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 result in underinvestment in positive NPV projects. We discuss the role of financial innovation in reducing the inefficiencies identified.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Ronald W. & Nyborg, Kjell G., 2001. "Financial development, agency and the pace of adoption of new techniques," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25065, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:25065

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1991. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 211-235.
    2. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1076-1107, October.
    3. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-248, April.
    4. Boyan Jovanovic & Jeremy Greenwood, 1999. "The Information-Technology Revolution and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 116-122, May.
    5. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    6. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    7. Anderson, Ronald W. & Nyborg, Kjell G., 2011. "Financing and corporate growth under repeated moral hazard," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-24, January.
    8. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    9. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Ronald W. Anderson & Kjell G. Nyborg, 2002. "Agency and the Pace of Adoption of New Techniques," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 68(1), pages 203-220.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics


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