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Excessive Continuation and Dynamic Agency Costs of Debt

  • Decamps, J.-P.
  • Faure-Grimaud, A.

This paper analyses the incentives of the equityholders of a leveraged company to shut it down in a continuous time, stochastic environment. Keeping the firm as an ongoing concern has an option value but equity and debt holders value it differently. Equityholders' decisions exhibit excessive continuation and reduce firm's value. Using a compounbd exchange option approach, we characterise the resulting agency costs of debt, derive the "price" of these costs and analyse their dynamics. We also show how agency costs can be reduced by the design of debt and the possibility of renegotiation.

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Paper provided by Toulouse - GREMAQ in its series Papers with number 00-533.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:gremaq:00-533
Contact details of provider: Postal: GREMAQ, Universite de Toulouse I Place Anatole France 31042 - Toulouse CEDEX France.
Fax: 05 61 22 55 63
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  1. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," NBER Working Papers 5907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," Working papers 592, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. McDonald, Robert L & Siegel, Daniel R, 1985. "Investment and the Valuation of Firms When There Is an Option to Shut Down," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 331-49, June.
  4. Mella-Barral, Pierre & Perraudin, William, 1997. " Strategic Debt Service," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 531-56, June.
  5. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
  7. Mella-Barral, Pierre, 1999. "The Dynamics of Default and Debt Reorganization," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(3), pages 535-78.
  8. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
  9. Leland, Hayne E & Toft, Klaus Bjerre, 1996. " Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 987-1019, July.
  10. Hans U. Gerber & Hlias S. W. Shiu, 1996. "Martingale Approach To Pricing Perpetual American Options On Two Stocks," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 303-322.
  11. Anderson, Ronald W & Sundaresan, Suresh, 1996. "Design and Valuation of Debt Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 37-68.
  12. Mello, Antonio S & Parsons, John E, 1992. " Measuring the Agency Cost of Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1887-904, December.
  13. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "A theory of debt and equity: diversity of securities and manager-shareholder congruence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9593, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Geske, Robert, 1977. "The Valuation of Corporate Liabilities as Compound Options," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 541-552, November.
  15. Carr, Peter P, 1988. " The Valuation of Sequential Exchange Opportunities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1235-56, December.
  16. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  17. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
  18. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:2:p:361-386 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  20. Hayne E. Leland, 1998. "Agency Costs, Risk Management, and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1213-1243, 08.
  21. 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.
  22. Parrino, Robert & Weisbach, Michael S., 1999. "Measuring investment distortions arising from stockholder-bondholder conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-42, July.
  23. Anderson, Ronald W. & Sundaresan, Suresh & Tychon, Pierre, 1996. "Strategic analysis of contingent claims," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 871-881, April.
  24. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean-Paul DÊcamps, 1997. "A variational approach for pricing options and corporate bonds," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 557-569.
  25. Margrabe, William, 1978. "The Value of an Option to Exchange One Asset for Another," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 177-86, March.
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