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Optimal Delegation when the Large Shareholder has Multiple Tasks

The paper analyzes the optimal delegation and ownership structure in a setting where the owner of a firm hires a manager to run the firm and to gather information on investment projects. The initial owner has two tasks: monitoring the manager and supervising project choice. Profits depend on both tasks and optimality would require different ownership stakes. A large stake is necessary for monitoring while a small stake is necessary for not interfering with incentives for project choice. Allocating control rights over project choice to the manager can alleviate this conflict. Delegation is optimal despite dissonant preferences, if managerial private benefits are not too small. By delegating authority over project choice and by using an optimal compensation scheme, the large shareholder is able to retain full ownership of the firm and, at the same time, to provide strong incentives to the manager. However, full ownership comes at the price of distorting monitoring and the resulting firing policy. Severance pay plays a key role in the optimal compensation scheme. We interpret delegation as the choice of a dual-board structure where the supervisory board is in charge of monitoring and management board is in charge of project selection.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2010_05.rdf.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2010_05.rdf
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  1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-83, June.
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  7. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
  8. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1996. "Endogenously Chosen Boards of Directors and Their Monitoring of the CEO," Microeconomics 9602001, EconWPA, revised 09 Oct 1996.
  9. Raheja, Charu G., 2005. "Determinants of Board Size and Composition: A Theory of Corporate Boards," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(02), pages 283-306, June.
  10. Yermack, David, 2006. "Golden Handshakes: Separation Pay for Retired and Dismissed CEOs," SIFR Research Report Series 41, Institute for Financial Research.
  11. Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2003. "Board Efficiency and Internal Corporate Control Mechanisms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 495-530, December.
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  13. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2003. "Boards of directors as an endogenously determined institution: a survey of the economic literature," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 7-26.
  14. Silvia Dominguez-Martinez & Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2008. "In Defense of Boards," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 667-682, 09.
  15. Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2005. "Trends in Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2351-2384, October.
  16. Milton Harris & Artur Raviv, 2008. "A Theory of Board Control and Size," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1797-1832, July.
  17. Burkart, Mike & Gromb, Denis & Panunzi, Fausto, 1997. "Large Shareholders, Monitoring, and the Value of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 693-728, August.
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