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Firms, Shareholders, and Financial Markets

We study the influence of the financial market on the decisions of firms in the real market. To that end, we present a model in which the shareholders’ portfolio selection of assets and the decisions of the publicly-traded firms are integrated through the market process. Financial access alters the objective function of the firms, and the market interaction of shareholders substantially influences firms’ behavior in the real sector. After characterizing the unique equilibrium, we show that the financial sector integrates the preferences of all shareholders into the decisions for production and ownership structure. The participation from investors in the financial market also limits the firms’ ability to manipulate real prices, i.e., there is a loss of market power in the real sector. Note that, while the loss of market power changes expected profits, it is not detrimental to shareholders since the expected return of equity share depends on the variance (and not the mean) of profits. Indeed, any change in expected profits is absorbed by the financial price. We also show that financial access increases production, thereby altering the distribution of profits. In particular, financial access induces firms to take on more risk. Finally, financial access makes the relationship between risk-aversion and risk-taking ambiguous. For example, it is possible that an increase in risk-aversion leads to more risk-taking, i.e., the variance of real profits increases.

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File URL: http://www.hec.ca/iea/cahiers/2008/iea0805_msantugini_v8.pdf
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Paper provided by HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 08-05.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision: Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:0805
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institut d'économie appliquée HEC Montréal 3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine Montréal, Québec H3T 2A7
Phone: (514) 340-6463
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  1. Dow, J & Rahi, R, 1997. "Informed Trading, Investment, and Welfare," Economics Working Papers eco97/03, European University Institute.
  2. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. Sandmo, Agnar, 1971. "On the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 65-73, March.
  4. Leland, Hayne E, 1972. "Theory of the Firm Facing Uncertain Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 278-91, June.
  5. Dotan, Amihud & Ravid, S Abraham, 1985. " On the Interaction of Real and Financial Decisions of the Firm under Uncertainty," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(2), pages 501-17, June.
  6. Mirrlees, J A, 1999. "The Theory of Moral Hazard and Unobservable Behaviour: Part I," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 3-21, January.
  7. Baron, David P, 1970. "Price Uncertainty, Utility, and Industry Equilibrium in Pure Competition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 11(3), pages 463-80, October.
  8. Leland, Hayne E, 1992. "Insider Trading: Should It Be Prohibited?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 859-87, August.
  9. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul & Zechner, Josef, 1994. "Large Shareholder Activism, Risk Sharing, and Financial Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1097-1130, December.
  10. Jain, Neelam & Mirman, Leonard J., 1999. "Insider trading with correlated signals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 105-113, October.
  11. Arrow, Kenneth J & Lind, Robert C, 1970. "Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 364-78, June.
  12. Ross, Stephen A, 1973. "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 134-39, May.
  13. Medrano, Luis Angel & Vives, Xavier, 2002. "Regulating Insider Trading when Investment Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 3292, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Baron, David P, 1971. "Demand Uncertainty in Imperfect Competition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 12(2), pages 196-208, June.
  15. Steven Shavell, 1979. "Risk Sharing and Incentives in the Principal and Agent Relationship," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 55-73, Spring.
  16. Asplund, Marcus, 2002. "Risk-averse firms in oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 995-1012, September.
  17. Hawawini, Gabriel, 1978. "A mean-standard deviation exposition of the theory of the firm under uncertainty," MPRA Paper 10148, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Showalter, Dean M, 1995. "Oligopoly and Financial Structure: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 647-53, June.
  19. Peter M. DeMarzo & Branko Uro, 2006. "Ownership Dynamics and Asset Pricing with a Large Shareholder," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 774-815, August.
  20. Leonard J. Mirman & Neelam Jain, 2000. "Real and financial effects of insider trading with correlated signals," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 333-353.
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