IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Does Product Market Competition Reduce Agency Costs?

  • Ravi Jagannathan
  • Shaker B. Srinivasan

The folk wisdom is that competition reduces agency costs. We provide indirect empirical support for this view. We argue that the temptation to retain cash and engage in less productive activities is more severe for firms in less competitive industries. Hence an unanticipated increase in cash-flow due to higher past returns is more likely to lead to a reduction in leverage as well as a lowering of future returns for firms in less competitive environments. Current leverage will therefore be negatively related to past returns and positively related to future returns for such firms. In contrast, for firms in more competitive industries, the negative relation between past returns and current leverage will be attenuated. Theory suggests that the relation between current leverage and future returns for such firms will be zero or negative. Using a proxy to distinguish firms in less competitive industries and data for 165 single business firms in the U.S.A., we provide empirical supports for our arguments.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7480.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as North American Journal of Economics and Finance (special Finance Issue), Volume: 10 Issue: 2 Pages: 387-399 (1999)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7480
Note: AP PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Glazer, Jacob & Israel, Ronen, 1990. "Managerial incentives and financial signaling in product market competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280, June.
  2. Nickell, S.J., 1993. "Competition and Crporate Performance," Economics Series Working Papers 99155, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521306935 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  5. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
  6. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-91, July.
  8. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. Franklin Allen, . "Capital Structure and Imperfect Competition in Product Markets (Revision of 24-84; Revised: 11-87)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 20-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  10. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  11. Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The effect of capital structure on a firm's liquidation decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 137-151, March.
  12. repec:cdl:anderf:5435 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521101592 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7480. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.