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Diversification and Delegation in Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Cerasi, Vittoria

    () (Dipartimento di Statistica)

  • Daltung, Sonja

    () (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

Abstract

This paper is about the corporate structure, the organizational structure, and the financial structure of firms, and how they relate to each other. We show that separation of ownership and control may arise as a response to overload costs, although it involves agency costs, and that conglomerates can arise due to information problems in capital markets. In a context where entrepreneurs have the ability to run projects and to improve their future cash flow, there could be rationing of credit due to moral hazard between the entrepreneur and external investors. Diversification could mitigate the moral hazard problem. However for a single entrepreneur the running of many different projects might be increasingly costly due to overload, that is when, due to limited attention, the marginal effort becomes less effective. Delegating the running of projects to several managers can not only reduce overload costs, but also reduce the moral hazard problem of external financing. In this paper we show that delegation can be the only way to exploit gains from diversification when overload costs of diversification are high; delegation thus is the key ingredient to be able to diversify.

Suggested Citation

  • Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2001. "Diversification and Delegation in Firms," Working Paper Series 131, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0131
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yingyi Qian, 1994. "Incentives and Loss of Control in an Optimal Hierarchy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 527-544.
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    4. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    5. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    6. Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2000. "The optimal size of a bank: Costs and benefits of diversification," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1701-1726, October.
    7. Li, David D & Li, Shan, 1996. " A Theory of Corporate Scope and Financial Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 691-709, June.
    8. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    9. Boot, Arnoud W. A. & Schmeits, Anjolein, 2000. "Market Discipline and Incentive Problems in Conglomerate Firms with Applications to Banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 240-273, July.
    10. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
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    12. Robert H. Gertner & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Internal versus External Capital Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1211-1230.
    13. Stein, Jeremy C., 2003. "Agency, information and corporate investment," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 111-165 Elsevier.
    14. Andrew Winton, 1999. "Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket? Diversification and Specialization in Lending," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-16, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yoonhee Tina Chang, 2007. "Collective relationship banking and private information monitoring in Korea," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 483-504, July.
    2. Flaxio Toxvaerd, 2005. "Mergers, Diversification and Financial Intermediation," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 43, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    3. Carletti, Elena & Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2007. "Multiple-bank lending: Diversification and free-riding in monitoring," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 425-451, July.
    4. Yoonhee Tina Chang, 2004. "Relationship Banking in Bilateral Oligopoly and Asymmetric Information," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 734, Econometric Society.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conglomerates; Delegation; Diversification; Monitoring;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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