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Diversification and Delegation in Firms

  • Cerasi, Vittoria

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Statistica)

  • Daltung, Sonja

    ()

    (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

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.

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File URL: http://www.riksbank.se/upload/Dokument_riksbank/Kat_foa/wp_131.pdf
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Paper provided by Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) in its series Working Paper Series with number 131.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0131
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sveriges Riksbank, SE-103 37 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08 - 787 00 00
Fax: 08-21 05 31
Web page: http://www.riksbank.com/
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  1. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds and the Real Sector," Working papers 95-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1989. "Management entrenchment : The case of manager-specific investments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 123-139, November.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Discussion Papers 471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  7. V. Cerasi & S. Daltung, 1995. "The Optimal Size of a Bank: Costs and Benefits of Diversification," Departmental Working Papers 1995-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Qian, Yingyi, 1994. "Incentives and Loss of Control in an Optimal Hierarchy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 527-44, July.
  11. Robert H. Gertner & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Internal versus External Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 4776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  13. Berger, Philip G. & Ofek, Eli, 1995. "Diversification's effect on firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 39-65, January.
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