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The Corporation in Finance

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  • Raghuram Rajan

Abstract

The nature of the firm and its financing are closely interlinked. To produce significant net present value, an entrepreneur has to transform her enterprise into one that is differentiated from the ordinary. To achieve the control that will allow her to execute this strategy, she needs to have substantial ownership, and thus financing. But it is hard to raise finance against differentiated assets. So an entrepreneur has to commit to undertake a second transformation, standardization, that will make the human capital in the firm, including her own, replaceable, so that outside financiers obtain control rights that will allow them to be repaid. I argue that the availability of a vibrant stock market helps the entrepreneur commit to these two transformations in a way that a debt market would not. This helps explain why the nature of firms and the extent of innovation differ so much in different financing environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghuram Rajan, 2012. "The Corporation in Finance," NBER Working Papers 17760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17760 Note: CF IO LE PR
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    Cited by:

    1. Victor Manuel Bennett & Megan Lawrence & Raffaella Sadun, 2016. "Are Founder CEOs Good Managers?," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring Entrepreneurial Businesses: Current Knowledge and Challenges, pages 153-185 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Giacinto Micucci & Paola Rossi, 2017. "Financing R&D investments: an analysis on Italian manufacturing firms and their lending banks," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, March.
    3. Rao, Ramesh K.S., 2015. "The public corporation as an intermediary between “Main Street” and “Wall Street”," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 64-82.
    4. Paolo Finaldi Russo & Silvia Magri & Cristiana Rampazzi, 2016. "Innovative start-ups in Italy: their special features and the effects of the 2012 law," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 339, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Pombo, Carlos & De la hoz, María Camila, 2015. "Institutional Investors and Firm Valuation: Evidence from Latin America," Galeras. Working Papers Series 040, Universidad de Los Andes. Facultad de Administración. School of Management.
    6. William R. Kerr & Ramana Nanda & Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, 2014. "Entrepreneurship as Experimentation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 25-48, Summer.
    7. Hassan Bougrine, 2012. "Fiscal austerity, the Great Recession and the rise of new dictatorships," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 1(0), pages 109-125.
    8. Kamoto, Shinsuke, 2017. "Managerial innovation incentives, management buyouts, and shareholders' intolerance of failure," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 55-74.
    9. Ernst Fehr & Oliver Hart & Christian Zehnder, 2015. "How Do Informal Agreements And Revision Shape Contractual Reference Points?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 1-28, February.
    10. Bautista, Rafael, 2014. "A quantitative model of the human capital contribution to the value of a project," Galeras. Working Papers Series 039, Universidad de Los Andes. Facultad de Administración. School of Management.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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