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A Reconsideration of the Jensen-Meckling Model of Outside Finance

  • Martin Hellwig


    (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

The paper studies outside finance in a model of two-dimensional moral hazard, involving risk choices as well as effort choices. If the entrepreneur has insu¢ cient funds, a first-best outcome cannot be implemented. Second-best outcomes involve greater failure risk than first-best outcomes. For a Cobb-Douglas technology, second-best effort and investment levels are smaller than first-best; for other technologies, they depend on the elasticity of substitution. If firm returns not too noisy signals of be-haviour, suitable incentives can be provided by some mix of debt and equity issues. If firm returns involve too much noise, this is not possible.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2007_8.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2007_8
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  1. Caillaud, Bernard & Guesnerie, Roger & Rey, Patrick, 1989. "Noisy observation in adverse selection models," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8921, CEPREMAP.
  2. Bester,Helmut Hellwig,Martin, 1987. "Moral hazard and equilibrium credit rationing: An overview of the issues," Discussion Paper Serie A 125, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
  4. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 2005. "Contract theory," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9543, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
  6. Dionne, G. & Viala, P., 1992. "Optimal Design of Financial Contracts and Moral Hazard," Cahiers de recherche 9219, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  8. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
  9. 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.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1989. "The financial structure of the firm and the problem of control," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(2-3), pages 286-293, March.
  11. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  12. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  13. Hart, Oliver, 1995. "Firms, Contracts, and Financial Structure," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288817.
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