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A Theory of Financing Constraints and Firm Dynamics

There is widespread evidence supporting the conjecture that borrowing constraints have important implications for firm growth and survival. In this paper we model a multi-period borrowing/lending relationship with asymmetric information. We show that borrowing constraints emerge as a feature of the optimal long-term lending contract, and that such constraints relax as the value of the borrower's claim to future cash-flows increases. We also show that the optimal contract has interesting implications for firm dynamics. In agreement with the empirical evidence, as age and size increase, mean and variance of growth decrease, firm survival increases, and the sensitivity of investment to cash-flows declines.

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File URL: http://rcer.econ.rochester.edu/RCERPAPERS/rcer_492.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) in its series RCER Working Papers with number 492.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:492
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Rochester, Center for Economic Research, Department of Economics, Harkness 231 Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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  1. Simon Gilchrist & Charles P. Himmelberg, 1995. "Evidence on the Role of Cash Flow for Investment," Working Papers 95-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. Rui Albuquerque & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2004. "Optimal Lending Contracts and Firm Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 285-315, 04.
  3. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
  4. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Allan Timmermann, 2000. "Firm Size and Cyclical Variations in Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1229-1262, 06.
  5. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "Pattenrs Of Firm Entry And Exit In U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 1-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  6. Marcet, Albert & Marimon, Ramon, 1992. "Communication, commitment, and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 219-249, December.
  7. Thomas Cooley & Ramon Marimon & Vicenzo Quadrini, 1999. "Aggregate consequences of limited contract enforceability," Economics Working Papers 843, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2003.
  8. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  9. Baldwin,John R. & Gorecki,Paul, 1995. "The Dynamics of Industrial Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521465618.
  10. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 1965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Audretsch, David B, 1991. "New-Firm Survival and the Technological Regime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 441-50, August.
  13. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  14. Gertler, Mark, 1990. "Financial Capacity And Output Fluctuations In An Economy With Multiperiod Financial Relationships," Working Papers 90-44, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  15. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-98, November.
  16. Peter M. DeMarzo & Michael J. Fishman, 2007. "Optimal Long-Term Financial Contracting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2128, November.
  17. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
  18. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  19. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  20. Troske, Kenneth R, 1996. "The Dynamic Adjustment Process of Firm Entry and Exit in Manufacturing and Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 705-35, October.
  21. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
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