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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.
Phone: 05.61.62.85.56
Fax: 05 61 22 55 63
Web page: http://www-gremaq.univ-tlse1.fr/
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  1. 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.
  2. Hayne E. Leland., 1998. "Agency Costs, Risk Management, and Capital Structure," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-278, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Pierre Mella-Barral & William R M Perraudin, 1993. "Strategic Debt Service," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0039, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
  4. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1792, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Carr, Peter P, 1988. " The Valuation of Sequential Exchange Opportunities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1235-56, December.
  10. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  16. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1991. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1991/233, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  20. 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.
  21. Dewatripont, Mathias & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-54, November.
  22. Hayne E. Leland and Klaus Bjerre Toft., 1995. "Optimal Capital Structure, Endogenous Bankruptcy, and the Term Structure of Credit Spreads," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-259, University of California at Berkeley.
  23. David De Meza & Ben Lockwood, 1998. "Does Asset Ownership Always Motivate Managers? Outside Options And The Property Rights Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 361-386, May.
  24. 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.
  25. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474, April.
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