IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized vs. Hierarchical Firms

  • Jeremy C. Stein

This paper assesses different organizational forms in terms of their ability to generate information about investment projects and allocate capital to these projects efficiently. A decentralized approach with small, single-manager firms is most likely to be attractive when information about individual projects is soft' and cannot be credibly transmitted. Moreover, holding fixed firm size, soft information also favors flatter organizations with fewer layers of management. In contrast, large hierarchical firms with multiple layers of management are at a comparative advantage when information can be costlessly hardened' and passed along within the hierarchy. As a concrete application of the theory, the paper discusses the consequences of consolidation in the banking industry. It has been documented that when large banks acquire small banks, there is a pronounced decline in lending to small businesses. To the extent that small-business lending relies heavily on soft information, this is exactly what the theory would lead one to expect.

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: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7705.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7705.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: May 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Stein, Jeremy C. "Information Production And Capital Allocation: Decentralized Versus Hierarchical Firms," Journal of Finance, 2002, v57(5,Oct), 1891-1921.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7705
Note: CF
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: http://www.nber.org
Email:


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. Leonard I. Nakamura, 1994. "Small borrowers and the survival of the small bank: is mouse bank Mighty or Mickey?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 3-15.
  2. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2537-2564, December.
  3. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 716-27, September.
  4. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1996. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9597, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1994. "Benefits of Narrow Business Strategies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1330-49, December.
  6. Rebel A. Cole & Lawrence G. Goldberg & Lawrence J. White, 1997. "Cookie-Cutter versus Character: The Micro Structure of Small Business Lending by Large and Small Banks," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-022, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  7. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 1995. "Small business credit availability: how important is size of lender?," Working Papers 95-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  8. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-46, September.
  9. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," NBER Working Papers 6368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Keeton, William R., 1995. "Multi-Office Bank Lending To Small Businesses: Some New Evidence," Proceedings: 1995 Regional Committee NC-207, October 16-17, 1995, Kansas City, Missouri 131493, Regional Research Committee NC-1014: Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition.
  11. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. DeYoung, Robert & Goldberg, Lawrence G. & White, Lawrence J., 1999. "Youth, adolescence, and maturity of banks: Credit availability to small business in an era of banking consolidation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 463-492, February.
  13. Allen N. Berger & Anil K. Kashyap & Joseph M. Scalise, 1995. "The Transformation of the U.S. Banking Industry: What a Long, Strange Trips It's Been," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 55-218.
  14. Milton Harris & Artur Raviv, 1999. "Organization Design," CRSP working papers 499, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  15. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," NBER Working Papers 5101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Milgrom, Paul R., 1987. "employment contracts, influence activities and efficient organization design," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6pf6c5j6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  18. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  19. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 2005. "On the Design of Hierarchies: Coordination Versus Specialization," Scholarly Articles 3448676, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1999. "Informal Authority in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 56-73, April.
  21. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, June.
  22. Berger, Allen N. & Demsetz, Rebecca S. & Strahan, Philip E., 1999. "The consolidation of the financial services industry: Causes, consequences, and implications for the future," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 135-194, February.
  23. Philip E. Strahan & James Weston, 1996. "Small business lending and bank consolidation: is there cause for concern?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 2(Mar).
  24. Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "The Economics of Defense Contracting: Incentives and Performance," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Defense Economics, pages 217-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 1997. "Bank consolidation and small business lending: it's not just bank size that matters," Working Papers 97-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  26. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 1995. "Universal Banking and the Future of Small Business Lending," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 95-17, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  27. William R. Keeton, 1995. "Multi-office bank lending to small businesses: some new evidence," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 45-57.
  28. Paola Sapienza, 2002. "The Effects of Banking Mergers on Loan Contracts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 329-367, 02.
  29. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
  30. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1996. " The Capital Budgeting Process: Incentives and Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1139-74, September.
  31. Meyer, Margaret & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1992. "Organizational Prospects, Influence Costs, and Ownership Changes," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 9-35, Spring.
  32. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1995. "Overt Interfunctional Conflict (and its Reduction Through Business Strategy)," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 630-653, Winter.
  33. Williamson, Oliver E, 1988. " Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 567-91, July.
  34. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2000. "Does distance still matter? the information revolution in small business lending?," Proceedings 679, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  35. Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2002. "Does Distance Still Matter? The Information Revolution in Small Business Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2533-2570, December.
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:7705. 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.